Last fall, Microsoft released an activity tracker of its own, creatively named the Microsoft Band, and hit the Play Store with the requisite companion app. Now the company has updated its little piece of Android software to track steps and calories without needing the Band itself. The app does this using your phone's motion sensors instead, as long as it's running KitKat or Lollipop.
But you already bought Microsoft's fitness tracker? There's something here for you too. You can now share your bike data with MapMyRide and Strava. Playing along nicely with these two established apps gives Microsoft a chance to appeal to the cyclists among you who have already stored years of data on someone else's servers.
Google Play screenshots of MapMyRide (left) and Strava (right).
Maybe you don't even own a bike. No matter. The app can now auto-detect when you're asleep. This way you don't have to manually start tracking, a task which I personally forgot to do often enough with my old Fitbit that I gave up trying. Sleep tracking can be hit or miss in general, so someone chime in if the app's telling you you're asleep when you've just been reading a book for a few hours.
What's new in version 1.3.10427.2:
- Multi-Device support: Track your steps and calories without the Microsoft Band, using the motion sensor on the phone you own*
- Connected Apps: Share your bike data with Strava and MapMyRide
- Sleep: Auto-detect your sleep without activating the Sleep tile.
- Bug fixes
*Motion tracking works with Android 4.4 phones and greater.