When we reviewed Microsoft's Band 2 earlier this month, we found a lot to like about the wearable device - but there were some areas in which it was lacking. The Band 2 has only been on sale for a few weeks, but it's about to get some welcome improvements, as Microsoft has announced a range of new features for the device.
If you like listening to tunes on the move, or while you're working out, the new music controls will no doubt be a very handy addition, allowing you to pause, skip forward and back through your songs, and adjust the volume, without needing to reach for your handset. The controls work with "any music app you use on your phone".
Another very handy new feature is one that many users have been calling for since the original Band launched last year (and one that Apple Watch users will already be familiar with). The Band 2 will now prompt you to get up and move around if you've been sitting down for an extended period of time, and you can also set 'quiet periods' during which you can suspend reminders - such as when you're driving or having a nap.
Microsoft has also made improvements for users who use the device while working out:
Now, it’s easier to track your duration, calorie burn, and heart rate for your favorite exercises when you use the Exercise Tile. Select popular options, like yoga or weightlifting, or name your own. When you review your exercise sessions in the Microsoft Health app or Web Dashboard, your summaries and observations will be grouped by exercise type for better insights into your performance.
And finally, the company has added a "What's New" tile to the device, which "will automatically appear when new updates are available". Tapping on the tile will bring up an overview of what the latest available update offers.