Microsoft has issued a major update to its Microsoft Health mobile app for Windows Phone, iPhone and Android. And while this update includes some long-awaited improvements for Microsoft Band, the software giant’s fitness wearable, it also lets users without a Band take advantage of the app’s fitness tracking capabilities.
Here’s what’s new in Microsoft Health.
Automatic sleep tracking. This is the big one, and a feature I’ve been asking for since last year: Microsoft Band will now automatically detect you’re going to sleep, so you no longer need to manually engage sleep tracking via the Sleep tile.
Track steps and calories with your phone. Microsoft Health now provides multi-device capabilities, so you can track your fitness with both a Band and a compatible phone (see below), or you can just start using Microsoft Health with your phone (again, it must be compatible). With a phone, you can track steps and calories.
New connected apps. This was actually announced last week, but the app now lets you integrate your Band- and Health-based data with Strava and MapMyRide.
New logo. Microsoft Health used to use a Band icon in its logo, but now it’s a nicer stylized heart design. (Likewise the little Band graphic in the app has been replaced by a molecule-like icon.)
Regarding using a phone with Microsoft Health, you will need a handset model that supports this functionality. And that varies by platform. On Windows Phone, you need a Lumia handset with SensorCore technology. On iPhone, it requires iPhone 5S and greater. And on Android, you need Android 4.4 phones or greater.
Note: The Microsoft Band desktop sync app for Windows was also updated this week.
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