During a phone interview with Microsoft last week, the company highlighted various updates the Microsoft Band would be receiving.
Today, both the wearable and the Microsoft Health app are getting a hefty update including a web dashboard, biking functionality, new ways to scan and respond to incoming notifications, and integration with Microsoft HealthVault and MapMyFitness.
Expect new apps coming soon too as the Microsoft Band SDK Developer Preview for third party developers also launched.
The update will roll out over the next few days to all Windows Phone, Android and iOS users.
What do we want? More insights!
The people spoke and Microsoft listened. Matt Barlow, General Manager of New Devices said in a press release: "For the last three months, we've monitored feedback carefully from customers, partners and media. While the response has been overwhelmingly positive, we are continuing to listen to our customers and make improvements based on their feedback.
The Microsoft Band provides a hearty dose of data but in our review, we noted how there's not much you can actually do with the information. Specifically, the insights Microsoft touted were no where in sight.
This update will hopefully take us one step closer to the insights promised thanks to the brand new dashboard. With it, users will be able to see "new observations, extended data views and more detailed charts" which complement the mobile app. Essentially, the more you use your Microsoft Band, the more valuable the insights become.
Aside from the dashboard and the aforementioned biking app, "Quick Read" and a virtual keyboard along with voice replies will be released.
The former, Quick Read, will allow you to read notifications in large fonts in rapid succession letting you read on the go without having to physically touch the Band and scroll.
Unfortunately, the latter virtual keyboard and voice reply option is only available with Windows Phone 8.1. If you happen to have the right phone, you can reply to text messages using the virtual keyboard which purportedly will provide minimal errors through Microsoft's Word Flow - or a fancy way to say its own autocorrect system. You'll also be able to dictate responses with your voice through Cortana.
- Here's what we think of Microsoft's second wearable, the Microsoft Band 2