Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health Updated

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft-Band with 1 Comment

Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health Updated

Microsoft announced new updates for Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health this morning, the first such updates since February. Going forward, the software giant says it will update the products more regularly, and will do so based on the feedback it gets from users.

The February updates added a Microsoft Health web site, new cycling features for Microsoft Band, and integration with two additional services, MapMyFitness and Microsoft’s HealthVault. Then, in March, Microsoft announced that Band would be more readily available to customers, including launching the product in the UK.

Today’s updates build on the previous update. Here’s what’s new.

Support for MapMyRide and Strava. Microsoft says that customers are looking for more integration with third party apps and services, so it has partnered with the popular bike apps MapMyRide and Strava. Now, you can use the Bike tile on Microsoft Band to track your cycling with these apps.

More insights. Microsoft loves to talk up the “insights” one can glean from the data that Microsoft Band collects, and this update is adding more: comparative insights (daily steps, sleep, workout frequency and more) that anonymously compare your progress with similar people, sleep recovery (sleep restoration, sleep efficiency, and quality of sleep), fitness benefit (track fitness using historical data over time), and “VO2 Max”, the maximum volume of oxygen used during exercise, a key indicator for cardiovascular fitness. Microsoft Health will also gain additional insights about your runs and exercises.

More coming soon. In the next update, which Microsoft says will ship in “the coming weeks,” you will be able to use the motion tracking features in many Android phones, iPhones and Windows Phones with Microsoft Health. That means you won’t need a Band to get your data into the service. (Something I could use this week, since my Band is broken.)

Sounds good, and I look forward to more frequent updates. The thing I’d like to see most is proactive notifications: perhaps Band could buzz once and hour and remind me to move around, for example. It’s certainly doable.

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