Microsoft has started rolling out a major update to the Microsoft Band today which most users (who aren’t that many as of yet) find rather enticing and comprehensive. The Microsoft Band is the company’s first fitness-tracking oriented wearable device and with the newest software update, it becomes one of the most comprehensive ones, too. If you own a Microsoft Band and were frustrated by the lack of a virtual keyboard, accurate biking tracking or cumbersome reading, this update will definitely please you.
Besides rolling out the Microsoft Band update, the Redmond giant also started the rolloug of an update for the Microsoft Health App that improves the overall app performance and brings a few neat syncing options, among others. It seems Monday isn’t such a bad day for Microsoft fans this time. First, lets tackle the Microsoft Band update and see what it improves in the wearable. The most important new feature in many people’s opinion is the new Bike Tile feature, which brings improved fitness tracking for when the user is pedaling away on their commute.
— Paul Britton (@paulstorms) February 23, 2015
The Bike Tile includes a heart rate monitor, elevation tracking, GPS, speed analysis and complete integration with the new Microsoft Health web dashboard so that Microsoft Band users can really check out what they’ve accomplished in their fitness goals. The Bike Tile has been a requested feature ever since the wearable was launched roughly three months ago and we’re glad to see the company complying with the request. I’m a fervent supporter of replacing cars with bikes for urban traffic, so this is definitely my favorite part of the update.
Besides adding improved tracking abilities and the Bike Tile, the Microsoft Band update also includes new guided workouts, for those of you who lack inspiration (like me), as well as a Quick Read option. The Quick Read option isn’t anything to write home about, but it is a useful improvement overall. The feature now makes the fonts bigger on your notifications and using a Spritz-like succession of the words so that you can rapidly glance through your notifications without having to touch the Microsoft Band. Neat, huh?
— Microsoft Band (@microsoftband) February 23, 2015
The Microsoft HealthVault (the dashboard) and MapMyFitness get some neat syncing options with the update, too. With the Microsoft Band, you can sync all your tracked data with your HealthVault account so that you can “take control of your health”. The virtual keyboard is also a neat addition to the Microsoft Band, although many users are skeptical about typing on such a small display. Nonetheless, the keyboard seems pretty easy to use, so it’s not bad to have it handy, who knows when you’re going to be typing with your mouth full. If the virtual keyboard is just not your thing, go ahead and keep using Cortana.