Microsoft has finally addressed my number one complaint about its otherwise-excellent wearable in adding activity reminders to Band 2. A new update for Band 2 also adds music playback controls, a feature many others have asked for, and an improved Exercise tile.
As a reminder, you update Microsoft Band via the Microsoft Health app on your phone: The app will prompt you that a firmware update is available.
Here’s what’s new in the latest Band update (which I believe is just for Band 2, but Microsoft’s announcement makes it hard to tell):
Activity reminders. Band will now remind you to get up and move when you’ve been still for too long, Microsoft says, though of course you can choose not to be reminded. If you opt-in, you can choose how often you want to be reminded, and on which days. You can also set time periods when you don’t want to receive reminders, such as when you’re sleeping or driving. Sounds great, and I can’t wait to test this.
Music playback controls. Band now provides music playback controls so that you play/pause, skip forward and back, adjust the volume, and see the current song title. Microsoft Band is also partnering with Spotify, which is interesting, but it will work with any music app on your phone.
Exercise tile improvements. The Exercise tile now lets you choose your favorite exercise and makes it easier to track your duration, calorie burn, and heart rate while exercising. And when you view your exercises, in the Microsoft Health app or web dashboard, everything is now grouped by exercise type for better insights into your performance, Microsoft says.
I’m not seeing this update yet, but I’ll keep checking.