Android users of the Microsoft Band 2 have been missing one important feature — Cortana. That’s despite the fact that Microsoft launched Cortana for Android last year, something many thought would extend to the band.
If you use the Microsoft Band 2 and Android, however, you’ll be happy to hear that the latest update to Microsoft Health finally allows you to access Cortana straight from your wrist. Through Cortana, you’ll be able to get notifications for events, communicate with friends, and so on — all without the need to take your phone out of your pocket.
Cortana isn’t the only addition to the Microsoft Band through the update. With the update, you’ll be able to create challenges for things like steps, runs, bike rides, and so on. You’ll then be able to share the results with Facebook friends who also use the Microsoft Health app.
Microsoft has also taken a page out of Apple’s book for the Band 2 — the device will now remind people to get up and get active if they’ve been sitting down for too long. You can also set timed intervals for these notifications.
Of course, you can opt to use the Android-based Google Now instead of Cortana, which is arguably a better choice for Android users anyway. Still, it’s clear that Microsoft is trying to entice users into its ecosystem beyond simply using its fitness tracker. This could be very appealing to Windows users, who would be able to use a single assistant over multiple operating systems. Adding Cortana to the mix could also help Microsoft make some headway into search — Cortana uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to search the web.
The Microsoft Band is a great device, but it certainly has its issues. Sure, there are plenty of sensors and a decent interface, however, the device easily scratches and the design isn’t that great. Perhaps the addition of Cortana will help entice more Android users to take the plunge and buy the Band 2.