Microsoft Health Mobile App Quietly Renamed to Microsoft Band

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft-Band with 0 Comments

Microsoft Health Mobile App Quietly Renamed to Microsoft Band

Microsoft is renaming its Microsoft Health app on Android, iPhone and Windows phone to Microsoft Band, ostensibly because it’s a more obvious name for customers. But then, that’s the problem: There are no customers.

I was alerted to this change by Erik B on Twitter, who noted today that the “Android update to Microsoft Health [was] renamed Microsoft Band [as part of] a new update for the Band.” I was able to quickly confirm that change and, with the help of others on Twitter, that a similar change was made on Windows phone as well. The iPhone version of the app hasn’t changed yet, but it’s likely imminent.

In the release notes for the Android version of the app, Microsoft explains that the latest update to the app includes the following changes:

  • We’ve got a new name! The Microsoft Health app is now the Microsoft Band app, everything else is the same.
  • Bug Fixes

So renaming it—and losing the Microsoft Health branding–was pretty much the reason for this update. Which means, of course, that now we need to speculate about why Microsoft is making this change.

Since Microsoft Health pretty much only works with Microsoft Band, the name change makes sense on one level. But as we discussed yesterday on Windows Weekly, smartphone users can also use the motion-sensing capabilities of their phones with Microsoft Health. That is, you don’t need a Band to collect your activity data. That alone makes the name change a bit odd.

Also, as I wrote yesterday, in Microsoft Band on the Run, the software giant has decided not to ship a Microsoft Band 3 wearable this fall, and probably not ever. And Microsoft Health, the back-end service, has “literally been ignored by every major health-care service and fitness wearable maker on earth.” Is Microsoft deemphasizing or even killing off Microsoft Health?

I don’t know. But this seemingly minor change—what’s in a name?—may portend bigger changes to come.

 

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