Tag Archives: Microsoft Band

Microsoft Band introduces hiking experience with the new Explore Tile

In the coming days, just in time for summer, new updates are beginning to roll out for Microsoft Band and Health users. These updates include a new hiking experience with the new Explore Tile and an update to the Microsoft Health app, making it available in the Windows Store for Windows 10 PCs and Tablets. And, there are a few other fun features we’re looking forward to telling you more about. But first, here’s a closer look at what makes the Explore Tile awesome!

Exploring the great outdoors with the Explore Tile

Explore tile for the Microsoft Band

Download the app update to receive the Explore Tile, and try out the new experience for yourself. The Explore Tile uses built-in GPS to keep track of your route on your band’s display, and lets you drop points of interest along the way. It’s perfect for tracking hikes, or even just a walk around the neighborhood. Here are some of the new features to take advantage of on your next outdoor adventure:

Explore tile for the Microsoft Band

  • GPS Power Saver automatically allows your band to track your hike for up to 12 hours.
  • After your hike, sync your band to your mobile app to see your points of elevation and a map of your route in the Microsoft Health app and web dashboard.
  • Stay hydrated, properly fueled, and get help dodging any inclement weather with smart alerts. They’ll remind you to hydrate and refuel, tell you what time the sun sets, and alert you of any inclement weather advisories based on atmospheric pressure.
  • The UV monitor you know and love is enabled while you hike. It will notify you when your UV exposure is high, so you can stay covered or apply SPF while you’re out in the sun.
  • Exploring on your own? Leave your phone in your pocket and turn up the tunes – skip tracks and adjust the volume on your phone’s music apps from your band’s touchscreen.
  • If you want to stop for a rest or take in the view, no problem. The Auto Pause feature will automatically detect that you’ve stopped, so you can focus on your adventure.

Get the Microsoft Health app on all of your Windows 10 devices

Microsoft Health app

The Microsoft Health app, the companion app to the Microsoft Band, will begin rolling out in the Windows Store this week to download onto your Windows 10 PCs and Tablets. Sync your Microsoft Band manually to your PC or Surface through a USB cable and manage tiles, personalize your band, update firmware, and more. The Live Tile will display your current step count and calorie burn.

And, last, a bit of friendly competition. When you use your Microsoft Health app, look for two new profiles in your social leaderboards. One profile represents the average daily steps and cardio minutes for your group – the group being the people who share your age, gender, and BMI – while the other profile represents those people whose daily steps and cardio minutes rank in the top 25th percentile for your group. We hope to inspire you to increase your daily steps or cardio minutes with the two new profiles in your leaderboards.

Get out there and enjoy summer with our new experience and the Explore Tile. Download the Microsoft Health app for Windows 10 today. We hope you enjoy these latest improvements and features!

Melissa Arnot trains with Microsoft Band for Fifty Peaks Challenge

Professional mountain guide, high-altitude climber and member of the Eddie Bauer guide and athlete team, Melissa Arnot holds the American women’s world record with 5 successful summits of Mt. Everest. A professional mountain guide since 2004, she has guided on 3 continents, summited Mt. Rainier 104 times, and cofounded The Juniper Fund to support Sherpa families faced with climbing tragedies.

Melissa Arnot and Microsoft Band

Image Courtesy Eddie Bauer/Jon Mancuso

Climbing mountains, much like life, is really built on the preparation you put in beforehand. It is something like 5% equipment, 10% luck and 85% preparation. I have been climbing and guiding clients in the biggest mountains in the world for almost 12 years, and if I have learned one thing it is that preparation without measurement – quantification of your training – is somewhat useless.

I often get asked before I begin a big challenge – like climbing the 50 U.S. highpoints in 50 days – if I feel ready. Saying that I am ready and knowing that I am are two different things. Knowing my team is strong and ready is equally important. Having reliable tools to measure this “ready factor” is critical to our collective success.

In the summer of 2016 I will start an amazing adventure of endurance, logistics and mentorship. Along with my partner Maddie Miller, we will attempt to climb to the summit of each state’s highpoint – the 50 highpoints as they are known – in 50 days. I have been training for this challenge for almost a year, and I have also been training Maddie to be as prepared as possible. Maddie is a 21-year-old college senior who has become an amazing partner and friend through this process. But, I have much more mountain experience than she does and so helping her get ready has been the highest priority.

Last July, right before Maddie and I headed to Colorado on a training hike, we started wearing the Microsoft Band. I have used a number of fitness tracking wearables and I was skeptical this would feel any different, but immediately I knew it was. The band is small and wears nicely against my wrist, letting me do what I am out there to do – run, sprint, bike – without further thought. I have found myself acutely more aware of my heart rate zones, as the “always on” pulse display shows my rate anytime.

Melissa Arnot and Microsoft Band

Image Courtesy Eddie Bauer/Jon Mancuso

One of the most valuable tools for training, in my mind, is looking back at how far you have come. In the past 9 months I have run almost 1,500 miles and logged an average of 3 hours a day walking uphill. My heartrate zones have improved and recovery time has decreased. And, the exact same is true for Maddie. We laugh about the workouts that show up as a little lazy and celebrate our new personal bests together. We receive a ‘cardio benefit’ for each exercise recorded, informing us of our cardiovascular fitness levels. This lets us know when we need to push to receive kudos for our work in our workout summaries, so we don’t receive a message that we’re just ‘maintaining’ but ‘improving’. From the Microsoft Health app, Maddie shares her workouts with me so I can track her workouts (including heart rate and recovery time). We live 12 hours away from one another and I have spent the last two months traveling and training in the Himalayas but I always feel like we are able to train as partners.

As we prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, I can look down at my wrist and say I know we are ready. The hard work is nearly done and the fun is about to start. My band just buzzed to remind me that it is time to go for a quick run-so I’m going to check in with Maddie and get going. The band is our third partner on this adventure, and she’s a good one.

Melissa Arnot and Microsoft Band

Image Courtesy Eddie Bauer/Jon Mancuso

10 ways the Microsoft Band has helped me prepare for the Fifty Peaks Challenge:

  1. Real time checking heart rate during workouts, vital to make sure I’m not pushing too hard (or not hard enough)
  2. Maddie shares her workouts with me, so I know she is doing the workouts
  3. Tracking progress on similar courses over time, all my data is stored so I can look back and see my progress
  4. I log all my workouts into my calendar so I get reminders and I can’t miss a workout
  5. Checking mileage each day, especially on rest days, helps keep me active while my body gets rest as well
  6. Mapping! So fun to chart our training courses with GPS and go back and see the elevation profiles
  7. Quickly being able to see last run on the band, this helps me push my time when needed
  8. I share my workouts with Maddie, so she can see where I am and what I have been up to, and can even give her ideas if she needs workout suggestions
  9. We sync our bands with Strava as well, which is really fun so that we can log hikes as well as running and biking
  10. We are each keeping a log of total mileage and calories burned from the time we started training until the adventure ends! Knowing your data helps you push hard even when you are tired!

We are thrilled to support Melissa and Maddie in this great adventure, and to partner with them to showcase the Microsoft Band.

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (March 25)

Surface Hub starts shipping to business customers, Microsoft Band gets new social features, Surface team talks about the design process behind Surface Book, the Spring Sale is on in the Windows Store – here are our pick for this week’s Weekend Reading:

Microsoft Surface Hub has begun shipping to business customers

“We set out to build technology to unlock the power of teams. We got customers, partners, our software team, and our hardware team together to build a first-of-its-kind new solution, Surface Hub,“ said Brian Hall, General Manger, Microsoft Devices Marketing in a blog post announcing that Surface Hub has begun shipping to business customers. Read the full story here.

Surface Hub

Surface Book: Designed from the inside out

Earlier this week we posted a story about the design process behind Surface Book – how the Surface team managed to bring great engineering and design together through a process that required relentless brainstorming, doodling, building, testing, scrapping, head scratching, high-fiving, prototyping, and more prototyping. Read all about designing the Surface Book here.

Designing the Surface Book.

Compete with your Facebook friends using new social features on Microsoft Band

Microsoft Band and Health’s new Social Challenges and Leaderboards help you get motivated, have fun, share your accomplishments and even take each other on in head to head fitness challenges – all in the name of health. Read more about the new features here and wait for these updates to start rolling out over the course of next week.

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The Spring Sale in the Windows Store is on

The Spring Sale in the Windows Store began earlier this week. You still have a few days (until March 28) to score amazing deals on big favorites: hit games, music, and popular TV shows and favorite movies for the entire family. Head over to the Windows Experience blog to find out more.

TED2016: It’s a phenomenal time to be human

A few weeks ago, Alex Kipman took the stage at TED 2016 and shared our vision of a new reality that puts people, not devices, at the center of everything. Read our story here and replay his TED talk below.

Compete with your Facebook friends using new social features on Microsoft Band

New Microsoft Band social features enable you to reach your fitness goals with healthy competition.

When it comes to Facebook and fitness, the two almost go hand in hand. Your friends motivate you, they challenge you, and you have fun inspiring each other! Microsoft Band & Health’s new Social Challenges and Leaderboards help you get motivated, have fun, share your accomplishments and even take each other on in head to head fitness challenges – all in the name of health.

Challenge your friends and achieve more together
Connecting Microsoft Band with Facebook

In the Microsoft Health mobile app, connect your Microsoft Health and Facebook accounts to see your friends who also have connected accounts. If someone has not done so, you can invite them right from the app.

With Social Challenges and Leaderboards, create challenges for steps, cardio minutes, longest run or bike ride between you and your Facebook friends who also have a Microsoft Band. Challenges can be one, three, five or seven days.

To see who deserves the bragging rights, check your friends’ daily activity on Microsoft Health’s Leaderboard to compare your standing and get motivated.

No Microsoft Band? Never fear! You can still compete with each other for steps or calories burned through the Microsoft Health app, on your iOS, Android or Windows Phone.

Microsoft Health leaderboardFriends don’t let friends skip workouts

Social Challenges and Leaderboards is more than a cool new feature – we know exercising with friends has tangible benefits to improving fitness outcomes. We hope the friendly competition will keep you motivated and decrease the chances of hitting that snooze button or missing a workout.

With this new feature, invite a group of friends to partake in the fun. When you’re particularly proud of an awesome workout or a great night’s sleep, remember that you can share your run, bike, or sleep summaries on social media. Friends can review your data in the public dashboard if you choose.

It doesn’t end with one successful challenge, though; the next one is right around the corner. Look for the new Social Challenges and Leaderboards coming your way over the course of the next week.  We can’t wait to hear about your accomplishments!

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (March 18)

Actiongram takes storytelling to a new level, Microsoft Band partners with Tough Mudder, Microsoft HoloLens and Lowe’s redefine home renovation – here are our pick for this week’s Weekend Reading:

Introducing Actiongram: A completely new holographic storytelling medium

Earlier this week we introduced Actiongram, an app that allows people without 3D skills and visual effects experience to be amazing holographic storytellers.

Read our story here and watch the video below to see it in action.

Microsoft HoloLens and Lowe’s, working to redefine your next home renovation

Home improvement is an incredibly visual undertaking. It can be difficult to conceptualize a full-scale remodel using just sample squares and paint swatches. We partnered with Lowe’s to help reinvent visualization and design in a whole new way, using holograms. Read our story here.

Hologram experience at Lowe's.

Microsoft Band gets you to the Tough Mudder start line

If 10-12 miles of mud and obstacles to test your mental and physical fitness is your thing, you’ll be thrilled to know that Microsoft Band is the official training wearable of Tough Mudder this season.

Read more about the partnership here and download the Tough Mudder Guided Workout on your Lumia, Android or iOS phone here.

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Designed on Surface: collaboration with artists across the globe to do great things

In the last couple of weeks we’ve been highlighting artists around the globe who have created murals embodying the spirit of people who do great things and the places that inspire them – with the help of Microsoft Surface.

If you missed the stories, you can replay them all here and read more about the program here.

Dave Persue's 70 x 20 foot mural art in Bushwick.

Microsoft Band gets you to the Tough Mudder start line

We are continually expanding our partnership roster to provide the best possible Microsoft Band experience that matches your fitness interests and ideal training methods. Today, we’re taking another muddy step forward on this journey.

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We are thrilled to announce that Microsoft Band is the official training wearable of Tough Mudder this season. As part of this new partnership, we are working with Coach Mud to build custom Guided Workouts that help you train and get to the starting line for your next, or even first Tough Mudder challenge.

Get Tough Mudder workouts on your wrist or phone

Whether you have a Microsoft Band or use the free Microsoft Health app on your Lumia, Android or iOS phone, you can download the Tough Mudder Guided Workout to help you achieve your fitness goals and bolt across the river, through the woods and over the wall.

Tough Mudder challenge.

Insights you can count on

With 11 advanced sensors, Microsoft Band tracks your heart rate and calorie burn during your workout and provides actionable insights to help you improve over time. Stay fit, monitor and track your cardio benefit and recovery time after each training session, and use the built-in GPS to map your runs or bike rides, and the barometer to track your elevation gains. You can even compare yourself to Tough Mudder trainers and others like you to prove you’re the champion we know you are!

Tough Mudder starting line.

Hitting the road

What’s next? We’re hitting the road with Tough Mudder to host training events across the country. See the full training-event schedule here, and join us for a hands-on experience to get familiar with Microsoft Band and everything it has to offer to get you to the starting line.

Check out the full list of Tough Mudder Events here, and follow along on Twitter to join the fun. We can’t wait to hear about your training experience!

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (Feb 19)

Microsoft Lumia 650 joins the Windows 10 product family, Microsoft Band gets new features, US Department of Defense have ambitious Windows 10 deployment plans, Surface helps to create new methods of teaching music, and Hulu app arrives to Windows 10 –  here are our pick for this week’s Weekend Reading:

Microsoft Lumia 650: sophisticated, metal design and Windows 10 under $200 USD

Earlier this week we announced the Microsoft Lumia 650 – latest addition to the Lumia family. The Windows 10-powered Lumia 650 is designed to offer perfect balance between work and personal needs, pairing the highest level of craftsmanship with maximum everyday productivity.

Microsoft Band gets social, updates for golf, Guided Workouts and more

On the heels of announcing GPS Power Saver and weight tracking features for the Microsoft Band 2 earlier this month, this week we started rolling out even more features that help you achieve your fitness goals. Read more about improved social sharing, Tournament Mode for Golf, tracking distance with Guided Workouts and how to connect your Microsoft Health account to Cortana on our blog post here.

A woman using Microsoft Band while biking.

US Department of Defense commits to upgrade 4 million seats to Windows 10

While Windows 10 has been certified as meeting specific government criteria and standards, one of the largest enterprises anywhere – the US Department of Defense (DoD) – is planning to begin a rapid deployment of Windows 10 across its organizations and all products and systems currently utilizing Microsoft Operating Systems. And they are aiming to have it all completed in a year. Read more about this at the Windows Experience blog.

We also reported that Surface family of devices are now fully certified and available through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL) and can be easily worked into deployment plans.

New Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter coming soon

If you’re a fan of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter launched back in 2014, you’ll be thrilled with the new version we announced earlier this week, that allows you to mirror or extend your screen from Miracast-enabled Windows 10 phones, tablets and laptops, including the Surface lineup. Available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada now, the new Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter brings the best features and functionality of the first generation while reducing the latency and packing it into a new form factor.

Hulu on Windows 10

Available across PC, tablet and mobile in the U.S., the Hulu Windows 10 app offers access to current season shows from top broadcast networks, full libraries of hit shows, movies and acclaimed originals. With nearly 100,000 hours of content available, this new Windows 10 app will make it easier to stream your favorite shows when and where you want. Read more about the app at the Windows Experience Blog.

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Latest app from Microsoft Garage: Plumbago

Time to retire pen and paper? New Microsoft Garage app Plumbago reimagines digital notetaking. Plumbago, a new app for Windows 8.1 and 10 tablets released through the Microsoft Garage, is a digital notebook with technology that smooths out handwriting so your scribbles are easier to read later. It also contains realistic ink technology and other user friendly features, such as an optimized tool picker designed to reduce the number of taps to access its features, notebook covers and paper selector. Read more about the making of the app at the Microsoft Fire Hose blog.

Creating new methods of teaching music with Surface

Andrew Fitzgerald, an instrumental music teacher, is using Surface to teach music at Franklin Classical Middle School. Read his story on how Surface have completely changed his pedagogical and professional practices and his creative output for good.

Windows 10 coming to 4 million Department of Defense devices, Skype group video calls and new Microsoft Translator features – Weekend Reading: Feb. 19 edition

This week at Microsoft saw some big Windows 10 news, more ways to connect with Skype and powerful new features for Microsoft Translator apps. Pretty busy for a week that began with a holiday.

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The U.S. Department of Defense, one of the largest enterprises anywhere, plans to deploy 4 million seats of Windows 10 within a year, an upgrade unprecedented in speed for a customer of that size and complexity, Microsoft announced this week. The move will lower the Pentagon’s IT costs and improve its cybersecurity and IT operating environment. The upgrade covers all combatant commands, services agencies and field activities.

“It is exciting to see adoption of Windows 10 by so many enterprise customers, including those with the highest of security demands, such as the Department of Defense,” wrote Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president of Windows and Devices Marketing.

In other Windows 10 news, the new Hulu app for Windows 10 made its debut, just in time to watch the first episode of Hulu’s new original series “11.22.63.”

Hulu’s new app features an adaptive, responsive layout and works well with Windows 10 features like Cortana and Live Tiles. All of which are perfect for watching James Franco time-travel in Hulu’s show, executively produced by J.J. Abrams and adapted from Stephen King’s novel. You can install Hulu for free from the Windows Store.

Connecting with friends and family got a whole lot easier with new innovations released this week. Skype’s group video calling rolled out on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in Western Europe and North America, with worldwide availability expected in March.

The calls feature glorious HD quality, crystal-clear audio and optimized layouts for whatever device you’re using – all to help make your personal connections feel natural and, well, more personal.

Microsoft-Translator-Android

Microsoft Translator apps also got new features that help people connect across cultures. A powerful new offline translation engine is now available for Android, coming in handy for when Internet access is unavailable or too expensive. And iPhone users can now take advantage of a new image translation feature for iOS, which can translate text from a camera roll or saved pictures. It uses Microsoft’s state-of-the art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

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If redstone and spooky witches are your thing, you might have rejoiced over the “Minecraft” Overworld update, the year’s first major update for “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta” and “Minecraft: Pocket Edition.” It began its rollout Thursday, with new redstone components, redstone specialist skins, witches, slime blocks and wearable pumpkins. The fun included a new redstone puzzle map that users can try out for free.

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If outdoor fun is more your thing, Microsoft Band got some helpful updates, including the ability to track distance in a Guided Workout when you’re running, walking or biking. The device also now has a Tournament Mode for Golf, for when you want to play with United States Golf Association rules for competitive play. And it got more social, letting you easily share your health and fitness summaries on Facebook and other social modes.

Finally, this week on the Microsoft Facebook channel, we got to know Garrett, an 11-year-old pianist who’s composing music for the modern world. He uses StaffPad to write, edit and compose his masterpieces on his Surface Pro 3, then shares his creations with the world.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff

Microsoft Band gets social, updates for golf, Guided Workouts and more

We’re committed to continuously offering new Microsoft Band experiences that help you achieve your fitness goals, and this month is no exception! A handful of updates will start rolling out to Microsoft Band users today, and continue over the coming days.

A woman using Microsoft Band while biking.

And, for some fun and encouragement to get to those goals, because we know accountability is a great motivator for reaching that next level, we’ve made a few tweaks to the Microsoft Band’s sharing experience, making it even easier to earn your friends’ congratulations—or envy—when you share your best activity summaries on Facebook, Twitter and in email or text messages. After a calorie-blasting workout, epic bike ride or the best night’s sleep you can remember, share a snapshot of your summary. Your friends can click through to a public dashboard that includes even more of your impressive stats.

Golf like a pro with Tournament Mode

With spring around the corner, grab your clubs and turn on our newest functionality, Tournament Mode for Golf. An option right on your new Microsoft Band, Tournament Mode for Golf will allow you to play a round while sticking to United States Golf Association rules for competitive play. The band will still track your round of play and your health activity, but hide your step count, distance and heart rate during your round, then have a summary waiting for you in the Microsoft Health app and dashboard upon completion.

A man using Microsoft Band on a golf course.

Track your distance with Guided Workouts

Whether you’re training for a 5k or half-marathon, or just want to map your distance biked within a Guided Workout, now you can! We enhanced the Guided Workout experience for Microsoft Band with the ability to now track your distance. You’ll get a notification when you reach a distance goal during a Guided Workout that includes running, walking or biking, and the display shows your distance decrease as you move. That, and you can train indoors or out—your Microsoft Band will track your distance with the pedometer if you don’t have GPS activated.

Connect to Cortana

As many of you learned earlier this year, our US users can now connect Microsoft Health account to Cortana. Once connected, Cortana will show your activity progress from your band, including steps and calories, and provide comparisons to the day prior. Whether you’re using a Windows 10 device or Cortana on iOS or Android, you can keep up with your progress easily. Read more about how to connect your Microsoft Health account to Cortana here.

Get out there and have fun!

Whether you’re looking for new ways to reach your fitness goals, stay on top of your golf game, or remain connected with friends and have fun, the new Microsoft Band has you covered.

Share your best run, ride, exercise or even sleep, with some new and improved social sharing capabilities – and check out our new Golf and Guided Workouts enhancements.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you!

Weekend Reading: Microsoft devices news and stories you may have missed (Feb 5)

Microsoft Band 2 gets new features, Surface 3 continues to be a hit in schools, and the Big Game is finally upon us while we imagine what the future of football could look like through the lens of Microsoft HoloLens – here are our pick for this week’s Weekend reading:

New features available for Microsoft Band 2

Earlier this week we announced two new features for the Microsoft Band 2 – GPS power saver and weight tracking – available through the Microsoft Health App. Read and learn more about these new features on our blog post here. And then get out there and have fun!
Microsoft Band power saver mode

The power of Surface Pen and Surface 3 in education

Earlier this week we announced that increasing number of schools are adopting Surface 3 as their 1:1 computing student device, replacing pen and paper in the classroom. Read our story on how different schools are using Surface 3 and Surface Pen, what the latest study says about the power of digital inking, and what Surface offers we have available for Education customers.

Three young students playing and working with Surface 3.

Football today and in the future – it’s a game!

This Sunday it’s time for the Big Game when Carolina Panthers meets Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl 50 – the grand finale of the National Football League (NFL) season in North America. Head over to the Windows Experience blog to find out how you can watch the game live on your Windows 10 device or Xbox. Also check out the NFL season in review, Bing Predicts for the Big Game and game facts over at the Bing blog.

Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for Windows 10 and Xbox.

And then finally take a sneak peek at what the future of football could look like shaped by technology such as Microsoft HoloLens.