Ray Ban’s Meta Glasses now let you listen to Apple Music with voice controls for maximum nerd points

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are still waiting on their big AI update – which is set to bring features like ‘Look and Ask’ out of the exclusive beta and bring them to everyone – but while we wait, a useful upgrade has just rolled out to the specs.

The big feature for many will be native Apple Music controls (via 9to5Mac). Previously you could play Apple Music through the Ray-Ban Meta glasses by using the app on your phone and touch controls on the glass’ arms, but this update allows you to use the Meta AI voice controls to play songs, playlists, albums, and stations from your music library for a hands-free experience.

The update also brings new touch controls. You touch and hold the side of the glasses to have Apple Music automatically play tracks based on your listening history.

The Apple Music app icon against a red background on an iPhone.

(Image credit: Brett Jordan / Unsplash)

Beyond Apple Music integration, the new update also allows you to use the glasses as a video source for WhatsApp and Messenger calls. This improves on pre-existing interoperability that allows you to send messages, and images or videos you captured using the glasses to contacts in these apps using the Meta AI.

You can also access a new command, “Hey Meta, what song is this?” to have your glasses tell you what song is playing through your smart specs. This isn’t quite as useful as recognizing tracks that are playing in public as you walk around, but could be handy if you like collecting playlists of new and unfamiliar artists.

To update your glasses to the latest version, simply go to the Meta View App, go to Settings, open the Your Glasses menu option, then Updates. You’ll also want to have your glasses to hand and make sure they’re turned on and connected to your phone via Bluetooth. If you can’t see the update – and your phone says it isn’t already on version 4.0 – then check the Play Store or App Store to see if the Meta View app itself needs an update.

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Hidden code points to Google reviving its AR glasses project

Google Glass was one of the first devices to build augmented reality tech into spectacles, but that device came and went without making much of a real impact. Now it looks like Google is once again interested in this particular product category.

Based on hidden code discovered by 9to5Google in the Google app for Android, there's a new reference to “iris”, as well as to launching Google Assistant with a tap on the right temple – which sounds like a pair of AI specs to us.

Now Project Iris was the codename of the specs that Google briefly showed off at Google I/O in 2022: their main job was to translate dialog spoken in a foreign language into text that would appear before your eyes.

It was only a short demo, and we haven't heard much about the glasses since – except in June of this year, when a report appeared that suggested the project had been shelved. Four months later, it could be back on the table once again.

AR and MR

Considering the brevity of the initial demo, and the lack of official information about these AR specs, we don't have much to go on in terms of what they can do – or indeed why they might have fallen down Google's list of priorities.

We were certainly impressed by what Google showed off last year, but it seems likely that these specs would go beyond instant translation and cover a variety of other features too. We might be talking about everything Google Assistant can do, and then some.

Even while Google has been relatively quiet on this topic – at least since Google Glass Enterprise was discontinued –  the market category continues to trundle on, as our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review shows.

We also know that Samsung and Google are currently working on a mixed reality headset to take on the likes of the Meta Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on this report, there could also be something more lightweight in the pipeline again.

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Google Docs is finally fixing one of its most annoying pain points

Google has revealed it is adding a new update for its office software that will make customizing and moving tables in Google Docs much more intuitive and easier to do.

A new post in the Google Workspace update blog outlines how the software is introducing “improved table positioning options” for documents.

Google says the update will add more flexibility and control over the layout of text with tables in Docs, letting you craft your documents just how you like.

Google Docs tables

While Google Workspace includes its own spreadsheet software in Sheets, many people prefer to use Docs to add inline tables to their documents.

The new changes will primarily allow users to drag tables in a document and place them exactly where you want, giving much improved customization.

Google Docs table moving

(Image credit: Google Workspace)

The update will automatically wrap the contents of your document around the table, but you can also customize this by choosing the wrap direction (left, right or even both sides) as well as the specifying margin from the surrounding text.

Users will also be able to set a fixed position for a table on a page , and Google Docs will also now provide quick layouts to instantly move a table to a preset position on a page.

In a bid to improve cross-platform usability, Google Docs has also improved how it works when importing and exporting Microsoft Word documents with tables, so your documents remain consistent.

This new update is rolling out now and will be available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google Accounts.

Analysis – solving a huge pain point

Tables have long been a bane for many office software users, with Microsoft Office and Google Workspace having issues for some time.

Fortunately, today's news should help solve the problem for many users, finally making it easier to add in and move tables around.

The update follows Google's earlier change, where it added a sidebar to Docs to make it easier for users to manage a table's rows, columns, alignment and other properties. The company also added an intuitive button for creating new rows or columns in a table that will appear as an overlay as you hover over a table in Docs.

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