I wore Google Glass for one year and here's what I experienced

Today is the first day Google Glass isn't available through the official Google Play Store, even if you have the $1,500 (£1,000) in hand and shout "Okay, Glass, shut up and take my money."

Wearing the now-retired Explorer Edition prototype for a little over a year, I saw important messages beamed to my eye and captured parts of my life via the first-person perspective.

It made the sci-fi-looking wearable worth owning. But while I found Google X's three-year-old experiment worked more often than not, there were a lot of times it didn't function right or suffered from bad publicity.

Here's what I liked, the myths I hated dealing with and the reaction of other Google Glass Explorers about what it was like donning the unique gadget.

Hands-free horseback riding

Snapping photos and capturing video became the standout Google Glass feature because it could be done hands-free, with the sound of my voice or even by simply blinking my eye.

And, really, it was the easiest thing to demo to someone donning Google Glass for the first time. So if you were going to be shown one thing, it was that, not how my personal email works.

Google Glass hands-free photos was clutch during a number of situations, but where the 5-megapixel shooter worked better than my iPhone 6 was while horseback riding on vacation.

Scenic views of nearby lakes and distant mountains were missed by the lenses of trotting horseback riders on this trip. They could take photos before mounting the horse or after.

With Google Glass, I was able to hold on to the saddle with my right hand, steer the reigns with my left and say "Okay Glass, take a picture" and "Okay Glass, record a video" with my voice

Fascination at Disneyland

As part of my epic 8,000-word Google Glass review for TechRadar, I also took this sci-fi-looking wearable throughout Magic Kingdom in Disneyland.

Admittedly, most of the rides were too dark to film and as handy as the Google Glass camera was in daylight, its lack of a flash or acceptable low-light performance made it fairly useless here.

That didn't matter to people in the long lines who were curious about the peculiar-looking gadget, often calling in "those Google glasses I've seen on the news."

Everyone, thinking I was a fixture of Tomorrowland, wanted to know more about it and were instantly stunned when I explained that it could beam important emails to my eye and translate foreign words with an English text overlay.

I listened to what these intrigued people thought Google Glass could be used for in the future, and the variety of the ideas was fascinating. Equally interesting: being more popular than Mickey Mouse for a day.

People I met along the bike path

Beyond my own experiences, I was always interested in meeting new Google Glass owners and hearing about their daily use of the Explorer Edition.

This occurred at CES and E3, but the best gatherings happened at worldwide Google Glass Night Out meetups like one in which two dozen LA-based bike riders donned the wearable.

Taking photos and video while cycling down Los Angeles' beach-side Stand pathway was an experiment in and of itself. Keeping Google Glass charged was also an arduous task.

However, the shared challenges gave me the ability to connect with smart-minded, tech-savvy individuals, many of whom I still talk to today. In fact, I touched base with them for their experiences on Page 3.

Of course, for every one Google Glass highlight, there are about two myths that made owning the Explorer Edition a minefield among the privacy-conscious and ill-informed.

Myth #1: I'm always recording you

You're boring. I'm not filming you because you're not doing anything interesting, for starters. In fact, my first realization that you exist was you pestering me with the question "Are you recording me right now?"

I once had someone approach me from across the street, tap me on the back and ask me if I was recording them. And they were serious! That's not possible for so many reasons.

Besides the fact that they were behind me, battery life is so precious on Google Glass. You're lucky to get a half hour of straight recording time when it's fully charged (it's never fully charged). A stranger would have to be spontaneously combusting for me to want to record them.

Google Glass also contained a healthy 16GB of internal storage and I never ran out of space thanks to cloud backups, but what am I going to do with all that video? Nothing. You're boring. Get over yourself.

Myth #2: It's banned everywhere

Every time Google Glass gets banned at a bar, restaurant or some other public location, it makes headlines. But I rarely ran into a problem during my one year of wearing the device.

In fact, I was only politely asked to take it off twice in 13 months. The first time didn't even make sense. I was at CES, walking through a casino next to the floor but not on it.

A security guard saw me and shouted "No Google Glass!" That made sense for a casino, except I was with a crowd of journalists who had just exited a CES bus and had an uncapped 1080p Canon T3i hanging chest-level and pointed at the casino floor. Somehow, that wasn't a problem.

The other time was at a restaurant in San Jose, right near Google's Mountain View campus. It seemed the closer I got to people in the know, the more it offended.

Matt Swider