Your Microsoft Band has arrived. Let’s get started
Note: This article is excerpted from my free e-book, Microsoft Band Field Guide, which you can download in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats from the Field Guide Books web site. Thanks for reading! –Paul
When you take Microsoft Band out of the box for the first time, you should immediately charge it using the supplied cable and be prepared to charge it every day or, if you’re lucky, every other day. You will need to supply a USB power plug, such as the one provided with your smart phone, to charge Band using the supplied cable.
(Later, you can alternatively plug it in your PC or Mac and use the Microsoft Band sync app noted below, and sync Band data while charging.)
Microsoft Band is not a standalone solution: You will need a mobile sync app called Microsoft Health so that you can configure and customize Band, install firmware updates, and sync the data it gathers with the Microsoft Health cloud service.
The Microsoft Health app is available for:
Android – requires Android 4.2 and up
iPhone – requires iOS 7.1 and up, iPhone 5 and up
Windows Phone – requires Windows Phone 8.1
In addition to syncing Microsoft Band with your phone, you can optionally install the Microsoft Band sync app for Windows (desktop) or Mac as well. Note, however, that these are companion apps and do not replace the mobile apps listed above. Instead, they let you sync Band data over USB while charging.
Once you’ve installed the Microsoft Health app on your smart phone, you need to pair it with your Band. Doing so requires you to alternate between your phone and your Band:
1. On your phone, open the Microsoft Health app and sign in to your Microsoft account. You may need to provide some basic profile information such as your name, date of birth, weight and height, and ZIP code.
2. Turn on Microsoft Band. Eventually, you will see a screen with a Get Started! button. Tap that button.
3. On your phone, navigate to Bluetooth settings and enable Bluetooth if needed. Then, wait for Band to appear in the list of pairable devices. (It will be named MSFT Band a0:8f or similar.) Tap Band in the list. Your phone will provide a six-digit PIN.
4. On the Band, you will see a Bluetooth PIN screen. Tap the Accept button. Band will report that you’re paired and tell you to return to the app (on the phone) to continue.
5. On your phone, navigate back to the Microsoft Health app. After a few seconds, you will see a Success! screen.
6. After Band checks for updates—which you’ll need to install, if available, before continuing—tap the Next button.
7. Name your Band and then tap Next.
8. Choose a color (really a theme consisting of background and accent colors) and wallpaper (one is a solid color with no pattern) and then tap Finish. Band will sync for the first time and then present an empty app.
9. On the Band, tap the action button as prompted. When you do, the default Band UI comes up and you can start configuring Band further and, more important, using it to track your health and fitness data.
From here, you can get started using your Microsoft Band. I have a lot more to say about that, including some advice for getting the most out of your new purchase. But while that will need to wait for later articles, you can of course get a head-start by checking out the free Microsoft Band Field Guide e-book on the Field Guide Books web site.