Microsoft Band Gets New Features
A web dashboard, new bike tile, better integration with health software and more insightful data are some of the new features available with the new update to the Microsoft Band. Microsoft just launched an update to the Microsoft Band - a smart band that tracks everything from steps and calories burned to emails and meetings.
The Band update will roll out over the next few days. Here are the new features:
- Microsoft Health Web Dashboard: The new Microsoft Health Web Dashboard is a complement to the Microsoft Health phone app. It gives you not only a bigger canvas for your fitness activity, but more information on what your data means, including new observations, extended data views and more detailed charts that complement what is already available via the mobile app.
- Virtual Keyboard & Voice Replies: If you have a Lumia or other Windows Phone, you’re in luck. The Virtual Keyboard & Voice Replies feature is exclusive to Windows Phone 8.1 users. Now, you can reply to text messages in two ways. The first is to use the Band’s virtual keyboard (yes, you read that right), which is equipped with Word Flow technology for minimal errors. The second is to launch Cortana on your Band and dictate a response.
- Bike Tile: If you’re a cyclist, you’re going to love the new Bike Tile feature. Whether you’re indoors or out, you can track and analyze distance, duration, speed (average and current) calorie burn and elevation gain and loss. If you’re on the roads or trails, activate GPS on your Band to map your ride, which you can share via email. And, when the bike tile is active, the heart-rate monitor is optimized for biking activities.Once you’re done two-wheeling, the Band will also give you an estimated recovery time. See all of your biking activity on the Microsoft Health mobile app; integration with the new web dashboard is coming soon.
- Quick Read: This new feature shows text messages, emails and other notifications in a large font size, with words coming in rapid succession so you don’t have to manually scroll on your Band.
- More Guided Workouts: The update also comes with five spin-related Guided Workouts. Featuring a mix of high-intensity and duration workouts, they are: Indoor Bike Tabata Sprints, Indoor Bike Hour of Sweat, Indoor Bike Total Body, Indoor Bike Pyramid, and Indoor Bike Intervals.
- Integration with Microsoft HealthVault and MapMyFitness. Microsoft HealthVault lets you store and organize all of your health care information, including records from your doctor, in one place. This integration means that the health and fitness data collected by the Band and the Microsoft Health app can be automatically uploaded to your HealthVault account.
In addition, you can now sync your Band with the MapMyFitness app, which records your runs, gym workouts, and other fitness activity. To link a Microsoft HealthVault and/or MapMyFitness account to Microsoft Health data, go to "Connected Apps" in Microsoft Health’s menu.
The Microsoft Band ($199.99) is available in Microsoft stores across the United States.