Microsoft introduced the new Microsoft Band less than two months ago with some highly-requested features that set it apart from the standard activity-tracker crowd. Today, the Band is getting a few software upgrades that bring Apple Watch-like activity reminders and music controls to Microsoft’s wrist-worn activity tracker.
Music controls are likely the most welcome feature to the Band. It’s a pretty obvious upgrade, allowing you to control music without having to take your phone out of your pocket or armband, thanks to the already-active Bluetooth connection. While Microsoft calls out Spotify in its announcement, any music app will work with the new controls.
Microsoft is also giving users one of the most-loved features of the Apple Watch: physical activity reminders. It’s easy to get lost in your work and forget to take a small walk. But that movement can help keep your mind and body in better shape, helping you readjust your posture, clear your head and give your eyes a rest from the screen.
The Band’s new activity reminder will buzz you when you’ve been sitting around for too long. You can choose the time intervals and days you want to be reminded, and the Band will intelligently notify you when you’ve been inactive.
Microsoft also made it easier to start your favorite workout. The Exercise Tile can now feature your favorite exercises, letting you quickly start tracking your duration, calorie burn and heart rate for those activities. The data is tracked in the Microsoft Health app, so you can see if you’re slacking off while running or meeting your weightlifting goals.
The software update is rolling out today. A new “What’s New” tile will appear on the Band when updates are available.