Microsoft Band gets major update with virtual keyboard, Bike tile, and new SDK

Microsoft delivers major update for its Band with new virtual keyboard that uses WordFlow technology, new Bike tile, and SDK for developers. And the Microsoft Health also gets updated.

Microsoft Band paired with Windows Phone

The first major update for the Microsoft Band since launch is rolling out on Monday, and the update brings a hand full of features and improvements to the device, including new virtual keyboard, additional Bike tile, and guided workouts. And the company it’s also updating the Band’s companion Microsoft Health app as well.

Although, this new update fixes many of the shortcoming with the Band, it still doesn’t fix the main issue… The short supply of the wearable.

The list below details the new changes coming in the new update:

New features

In the latest updates, Microsoft is bringing the Bike tile to the Band to allow users to track rides both indoors and outdoors, that being on the road or trail.

With the new Bike tile, users will see the following new features:

  • Heart Rate Monitor: Using the Bike tile, the heart rate monitor is optimized for biking activities.
  • Elevation Tracking: Track elevations, distance, duration and calorie burn. The information will be available in the Microsoft Health app.
  • GPS: User can now map their rides using GPS and share them with other people via email.
  • Speed Analysis: Track current and average speeds on the wearable and on the mobile app, and users can now review custom splits on those long bike rides.
  • Recovery: Available from the mobile app, users can now see an estimate of how much time the body needs to recovery from the ride.
  • Quick Read: This is another way the software giant is improving readability on incoming messages. Using the Quick Read mode will display messages in speed-reading style with large font size to enable you to read more of the message in the same physical space.
  • Virtual Keyboard & Voice Replies: In the new update, Windows Phone 8.1 users can reply to messages in two different ways. Users can use the new virtual keyboard, which uses Microsoft’s WordFlow technology, to avoid typing errors and common word predictions. The second choice is to respond with voice using Cortana.
  • Guided Workouts: For biking workouts indoors, Microsoft is adding five new Guided Workouts: Indoor Bike Tabata Sprints, Indoor Bike Hour of Sweat, Indoor Bike Total Body, Indoor Bike, Pyramid, and Indoor Bike Intervals.
  • Web Dashboard: The Microsoft health app support the new Biking functionality, but the company promise integration with the Microsoft Health web dashboard in future update.
Microsoft Band features

Microsoft Band: all you need to know to master the fitness wearable

Integration

Now users can organize and collect their health information on a centralized location, where users can then store, use and share with their healthcare providers. As the software giant rolls out a new “Microsoft HealthVault” integration, data from the Microsoft Health app will automatically upload to the HealthVault account, which also include sleep and workout data.

The connection between the Microsoft Health and Microsoft HealthVault is a manual process, which users have to make by going to “Connected Apps” in the menu from the Health app.

The Microsoft Band now also syncs data with MapMyFitness. To link the MapMyFitness with the Microsoft Health data, go to “Connected App” in the menu from the Health app.

Furthermore, the software maker also said that it is opening up the wearable device to third-party developers by delivering a new SDK, with support the creation of Windows Phone and Android devices. The company says that iOS support will come in a later time.

The update is releasing today, Monday February 23, 2015, but the roll out will be complete in a few days for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.

Source Neowin

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.