Microsoft updates the Band with Bike tile, virtual keyboard and SDK for developers

Microsoft has announced today that its wearable device, the Band, will be getting its first large update since the device was launched back in October. The update includes a new bike tile, a virtual keyboard, additional guided workouts and a lot more.

This update will add several new features to the wearable device that has been highly sought after, but rarely in-stock. For a complete breakdown of the changes, you can check out the list below:

New Features:

  • Bike Tile: The Bike Tile on users’ Microsoft Band lets them track their rides both indoors and outdoors, on the road or trail. Features include:
    • Heart Rate Monitor: When the Bike tile is active, the heart rate monitor is optimized specifically for biking activities.
    • Elevation Tracking: Track elevation and elevation gain, distance and duration and calorie burn– viewable in the Microsoft Health app.
    • GPS: Users can activate GPS on their Band to map their ride in the mobile app and share it with their friends via email.
    • Speed Analysis: Track your current and average speeds both on the band and in the mobile app, and review your custom splits to relive those longer bike rides.
    • Recovery: From the mobile app, users can see an estimate for how long it will take their body to recover from the ride.
    • Web Dashboard: Biking functionality is supported by the Microsoft Health mobile app at launch. Integration with the Microsoft Health web dashboard is coming soon.
  • Guided Workouts: Five new indoor biking workouts have been added to the Guided Workouts portfolio, including: Indoor Bike Tabata Sprints, Indoor Bike Hour of Sweat, Indoor Bike Total Body, Indoor Bike Pyramid, and Indoor Bike Intervals.
  • Quick Read: Quick Read provides another option to scan incoming texts, emails and other notifications. When enabled, notifications are displayed in a large font size and in rapid succession of words enabling users to read messages while in motion and without the need to scroll.
  • Virtual Keyboard & Voice Replies for Windows Phone 8.1 Users: Windows Phone 8.1 users can craft replies to text messages in two ways. Users can reply to text messages using the virtual keyboard with minimal errors with the help of Microsoft’s World Flow technology, which predicts commonly used words and phrases. They can also dictate responses with voice, powered by Cortana.

Integration

  • Microsoft HealthVault: Users can create a complete picture of their health, with them at the center. Microsoft HealthVault lets users organize their health information in one place, and helps them gather, store, use, and share information and records with their healthcare providers. Now with Microsoft HealthVault integration, a user’s Microsoft Health data is automatically uploaded to their HealthVault account, including their workout and sleep data. To link a Microsoft HealthVault account to Microsoft Health data, simply go to "Connected Apps" in the menu of the Microsoft Health app.
  • MapMyFitness: Starting today, users can sync to their MapMyFitness account. To link a MapMyFitness account to Microsoft Health data, simply go to "Connected Apps" in the menu of the Microsoft Health app.

Microsoft is also announcing today that they will be opening up the device to third-party developers with the creation of an SDK. If you are a developer and want to start building apps for the Band, you can grab the bits from here but only Windows Phone and Android are supported right now; iOS support is coming soon.

The update was released today and will roll out over the next few days to all Windows Phone, Android and iOS users

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