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Set up SMS, iMessage alerts on Google Glass

Last month, Google finally enabled iPhone users to receive SMS and iMessage alerts on Glass.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Jason Cipriani/CNET

From almost day one, Glass Explorers who have only ever known iOS have asked Google to allow for SMS and iMessage to be viewed on Glass. Most even asked for complete send and receive integration. Sadly, iOS in its current form will not allow for third-party apps to send content through the Messages app. But as many have pointed out, Pebble has been able to receive alerts from the Messages app for awhile now, why couldn't Glass?

In late April, Google released an update that enabled just that -- the ability for SMS and iMessages received by an iOS user to be viewable on Google Glass.

After verifying your device is running at least XE 16.1 (Settings > Device Info on Glass), you'll need to adjust a setting on your iPhone in order to start beaming messages to Glass.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

On your iPhone, launch the settings app and tap Bluetooth. Find the name of your device in the list, and tap on the "i." On the next screen, you simply need to toggle the switch to send notifications to Glass to the "on" position. Once it's turned on, any new SMS or iMessages you receive will be pushed to Glass.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Of course, what would Glass support on iOS be without a few caveats?

  • You won't be able to view anything other than text messages. No videos, photos, or GIFs.
  • You can't reply from Glass, you can only view.
  • Contact names or nicknames will be displayed, but contact photos will not.

With Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference -- where it's expected Apple will preview iOS 8 -- only a few weeks away, let's hope Apple opens up some new APIs to make this experience a more complete one. It would benefit Apple just as much as it would Google to provide Glass -- or any wearable, for that matter -- with a method for sending content through an iOS device. With Android phones getting cheaper by the day, it doesn't take much for iOS users to jump ship and test the waters.