Last week, details leaked of Microsoft's next update for its Band wearable device and Health companion app. That info turned out to be pretty accurate - today, the company officially announced its latest update, which includes confirmation that its Health app is coming to Windows 10 PCs and tablets this week.
As predicted, the Band 2 is getting a new tile, as part of a wider 'experience' designed to make things a bit easier for those who like to take long walks in the great outdoors. Microsoft says that the new Explore Tile is "perfect for tracking hikes, or even just a walk around the neighborhood".
Microsoft believes that in addition to the new tile, the various features offered by the device make it an obvious choice for those who enjoy walking:
- GPS Power Saver automatically allows your band to track your hike for up to 12 hours.
- After your hike, sync your band to your mobile app to see your points of elevation and a map of your route in the Microsoft Health app and web dashboard.
- Stay hydrated, properly fueled, and get help dodging any inclement weather with smart alerts. They’ll remind you to hydrate and refuel, tell you what time the sun sets, and alert you of any inclement weather advisories based on atmospheric pressure.
- The UV monitor you know and love is enabled while you hike. It will notify you when your UV exposure is high, so you can stay covered or apply SPF while you’re out in the sun.
- Exploring on your own? Leave your phone in your pocket and turn up the tunes – skip tracks and adjust the volume on your phone’s music apps from your band’s touchscreen.
- If you want to stop for a rest or take in the view, no problem. The Auto Pause feature will automatically detect that you’ve stopped, so you can focus on your adventure.
Owners of the original Microsoft Band may well be wondering if the new Explore tile is available for them. Sadly, it's not. While today's announcement on the Windows Blog refers indiscriminately to "Band users" - offering hope that it might apply to both the original Band and its successor - the corresponding post on the Microsoft Health Blog refers exclusively to the Band 2.
There's no sign of the first-gen Band in Microsoft's video below either - but for Band 2 owners, it does provide a handy overview of what the device offers for hikers:
Source: Windows Blog