The Microsoft Band 2 is an improvement in design and wearability over the chunky original, and Microsoft isn’t sitting still when it comes to updating the software installed on it. The company has pushed out a new version of the Band 2’s OS which adds several new features, including one that encourages you not to sit still either.
Announced on its own blog, the Band 2’s new software will remind you it’s time to get up and move around if you’ve been sitting still for too long. The new feature can be set to do this at different intervals, and interestingly can be silenced for certain periods — handy when you’re sleeping, driving, or working hard.
This isn’t an uncommon feature. It’s offered by the Apple Watch, and other fitness trackers including the Jawbone UP series. Android Wear doesn’t include activity reminders as standard, but several apps are available to replicate the function. Additionally, inside the Exercise Tile, Microsoft has made some improvements to how calorie, step, and exercise data is viewed, plus grouped your favorite exercises together for easy, fast access to information.
Outside of the fitness and exercise functions, Microsoft has added music controls to the Band 2. The screen shows the usual functions from play, pause and track skip, plus the title of the song playing. Any music app can be controlled by the Band 2, once it’s connected to the phone using Bluetooth, but Microsoft has struck up a deal with Spotify to supply special holiday-themed songs.
Microsoft announced the second-generation Band in October, refining the design so it’s less bulky, smoother, and more comfortable to wear. It also added a VO2 sensor and a barometer to the band’s already impressive collection of sensors. It’s available now for $250.