Google Glass was strangely absent from Wednesday’s keynote speech at the annual I/O conference in San Francisco, despite many predictions pointing to the contrary. Google instead made a quiet announcement on Thursday that its Internet-connected smart glasses would soon be much more useful, with apps from Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Elle, Tumblr and Evernote all coming to Glass.

Google Glass apps
Google announced "Glassware," a collection of apps including Facebook, Twitter, and CNN coming soon to Glass. Reuters

CNN’s Google Glass app lets people choose what sorts of alerts they receive and which time of day they are received. Users can read the CNN article or the Glass app can play them out loud. The app can also play video clips from CNN. Elle magazine’s Glass app is similar, letting users choose sections of the magazine to read or listen to, swipe through photos and share articles with friends.

The Twitter app allows users to share photos through Google Glass, though it will attach the text “just shared a photo #throughglass.” Users can speak text updates and receive Twitter notifications through Glass. The Facebook app can also share photos taken with Google Glass, and the Tumblr app allows users to view their feed and receive updates.

The announcement of Evernote coming to Google Glass is especially exciting. Users can use Evernote from any other device to send notes --such as grocery lists, business presentations or speeches -- to Glass.

Google calls the collection of Glass apps “Glassware,” and they join Path and the New York Times as the only third-party apps available on Glass. Before these apps, Glass could only search Google, access Google Maps, take photos and videos, and connect to a cell phone to place calls and text messages.

Glassware is a big step in increasing the functionality of Google Glass, and shows that developers from major companies are invested in developing an ecosystem for the smart glasses. It’s strange that Google remained silent about these updates at the I/O keynote speech -- even Google CEO Larry Page only discussed them in response to a question.

At last year’s I/O conference, Glass was one of the highlight’s of the show. Google even had skydivers use Glass to live stream their drop to kick off the conference. IBTimes reached out to Google for a comment but has not received a response.

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