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Google’s Jacquard jacket gets new ‘Illuminate’ and ‘Find My Phone’ abilities

Google and Levi’s Jacquard-enabled jacket only just became available for the average consumer at the end of September, but Google is now pushing out its first substantial app update. It adds a couple of interesting, albeit minor, new abilities to the capacitive-fabric-bearing garment.

If you read my full review on the jacket, you know that the actual Jacquard technology is pretty limited in its current form — and that’s fine, for reasons I explained in my review. New abilities are part of the promise here, though; Google says that the jacket will be able to do more over time thanks to app updates.

The first of those new updates is now rolling out on the Play Store and adds new “Illuminate” and “Find my Phone” abilities.

“Illuminate” is the less interesting of the two, at least in my opinion. Basically, it lets you simply activate the light on the Jacquard Tag. You can pick between three main settings: shine, blink, and strobe. And it can be applied to any of the three standard actions. I think the most practical use case here is quickly accessing a flashlight to see your bike lock at night.

The other is substantially more useful. With “Find Your Phone,” you can… find your phone. With a double tap or swipe on the cuff of your jacket, you can make your phone ring — as long as it’s close enough to be connected via Bluetooth, of course. You have to be wearing your Levi’s jacket to use it, but it could become more practical with the launch of more everyday Jacquard garments.

While these features are nice to have, they don’t exactly change the verdict of my review. The Levi’s Commuter Trucker is great for those who fit a very specific profile, and in my view, it can be really great for those people. For others, the price tag and the very personal choice of fashion might keep you away from this offering. I’m looking forward to a Jacquard hat and t-shirt.

The Android app update is rolling out now, and Google says the iOS version will be hitting within a “few days”.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.