Microsoft Band announces first major update, adds intuitive keyboard and biking app

In its first major update, Microsoft brought a couple of interesting features onboard for its SmartBand users. One of the features introduced to the band is the developer preview SDK that will allow the developers to create more apps for the Microsoft Band. This move won’t only help the Redmond Company to engage more and more developers to create for its band but will also let the OEM to enhance the user-experience. More information on this is awaited but it seems like the perfect idea to start with.

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The dashboard has also revamped after the update. You get charts and detailed analysis of total calories burnt and highest burn or the lowest burn. The purple theme in charts has been brought to the panel from mobile apps. Clean and organized, you get almost everything here what you need to achieve and understand your fitness goal. The Monday update to the band also includes Beast Mode, which takes you on the all-new guided workouts. Here, you can find everything here from warmup techniques to recovery time and anaerobic activity.

Along with this, Microsoft has added Bike Tile mobile app in this update series. With its help, users can track their activity, both indoors and outdoors. Whether you are running on road or a hill, this activity can be recorded too. The heart rate monitor is also optimized in accordance with biking activity in this mode and can be viewed via Microsoft Health app. The mode also offers 5 guided workouts namely Indoor Bike Tabata Sprints, Indoor Bike Hour of Sweat, Indoor Bike Total Body, Indoor Bike Pyramid, and Indoor Bike Intervals. Users can also activate GPS for riding in the mobile app.

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Microsoft has also introduced intuitive keyboard, which allows you to type directly on the band. It is small but it works quite well and makes responding easier than ever. Microsoft has also introduced a tutorial link to help users understand the mode of working. Though, you won’t be able to type e-mails but for short quick responses, this little, cutesy keyboard is more than enough. Given the good space around the keypads, typing is relatively easy. Users also have the aid of prediction engine, based on Microsoft’s Word Flow technology, to type right words. When you are done typing, you can swipe to the right to see if you have typed the message correctly. If it is good to go, a single tap on the action button will send the text to the intended user. This keyboard and Cortana-powered voice prediction is compatible Windows 8.1 phones.

Moreover, integration of Microsoft Health Vault and MapMyFitness was also introduced. To enable the latter, users need to go to connected apps whereas users’ data is uploaded and integrated directly to Microsoft Health Vault. It will help the users to keep the workout as well as sleep-related data at one place and access when it is most-needed.

Matt Barlow, the General Manager of New Devices Marketing at Microsoft has stated that these updates show that the company is listening and is trying to pay heed to what makes the users tick. With a commitment towards monthly updates of features, Microsoft SmartBand will indeed achieve an extra and competitive edge over other wrist bands. And if the promise of regular update is fulfilled, we say, Microsoft SmartBand can really make a difference after all, having a wearable that is evolving and sorting out its problems, is bliss.

Via Microsoft

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