Microsoft Updates Motion Data on SensorCore-equipped Lumias

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows Phones with 0 Comments

If you have a Lumia 1520, 930, Icon, 830, 730/5, or 630/5, you got a neat little update recently: Microsoft has, for the first time I think, updated the Motion Data settings app by which you interact with the handset’s SensorCore motion tracking technology. So this is kind of a big deal.

SensorCore, as you may know, works with a set of sensors found in recent Lumia handsets to collect motion and location tracking data that can then be used by what Microsoft awkwardly calls “life-logging” apps. Aside from sensor data aggregation, the big deal with SensorCore is that it’s power management friendly: Enabling this functionality won’t cause the battery on your handset to rundown much faster than normal.

With SensorCore, you can use your phone and a compatible app to emulate much of the functionality of a fitness tracker. The only downside, of course, is that you must have the phone on your person for it to record data. So there’s no credit for a walk, run or other exercise if you leave the phone behind. In my testing of SensorCore with the Microsoft Health & Fitness app last year, I found it to be pretty reliable and accurate.

Previous to this week’s update, however, the Motion Data settings app that is used to configure SensorCore on compatible handsets—you’ll see it near the bottom of the Settings list if you can use this technology—didn’t offer much configuration: You could just toggle whether Motion Data collected data or not. It was off by default. (You could also clear the phone of collected data.)

This week, that changed.


As you can see, the current version of Motion Data settings has a lot more going on. Here we see the following:

Apps. Tap this entry to see a list of compatible apps on your device. (I’m currently using Microsoft Band, which has its own data tracking functionality, so I only have one compatible app: Microsoft Health & Fitness.

Your activity in the past 24 hours. This is a graph of sorts that shows walking and running activity. If it just showed sitting, I’m pretty sure I could make that whole bar red on most days.

Places visited. This toggle determines whether Motion Data uses the location tracking functionality of your Lumia to keep a list of recently visited places.

Recent places. Tap this to see places you’ve visited on a map. Here, you can see that I drove into the airport this morning (for a work trip to Colorado).


According to Microsoft, this new Motion Data settings app also collects “more detailed and accurate data.” I’ll leave it enabled for a while and see how it compares to the Band while I’m away this week.

You will get this update automatically, and I’m not aware of a way to uninstall it. But here’s a link to Motion Data 2.0 in the Windows Phone Store.

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