Time is ticking and Apple is about to launch its hot new Apple Watch that’s been available for pre-order for a couple of weeks now. This has enticed Microsoft to push its own wearable device, Microsoft Band, and associated service Microsoft Health to new levels as competition in this space is about to get very hot.
Today Microsoft has announced a large software update for its fitness tracker and accompanying online services. As part of this update, Microsoft Band will be able to integrate with third-party cycling apps such as MapMyRide and Strava which will allow cyclists to compare their ride data with others and share routes. This feature is expected to roll out this Thursday, April 23rd.
“Customers want even more integration with additional third party fitness partners,” says Matt Barlow, a Microsoft general manager, in a statement. “We know they have existing relationships with other apps, services and devices outside of Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band, and they’re looking for new ways to integrate their data, ensuring it will all live and work together in one single spot.”
Microsoft Health smartphone app will also be available to those who don’t currently own a Microsoft Band fitness tracker, Microsoft said. By connecting to native phone sensors, Microsoft Health will be able to function, although in a more limited capacity, on Android phones, iPhones as well as Windows Phones. This exciting new capability will be available in the coming weeks as Microsoft looks to broaden the overall Microsoft Health platform and make it available to a wider audience.
Microsoft Health Web Dashboard service is getting some new features as well. The update, scheduled for April 27th will allow users to compare their exercise stats with others of similar height and weight. The update will also enable tracking and processing of additional data such as sleep recovery, fitness progress, oxygen volume used during exercise, and detailed historical stats for advanced analysis of run and workout data over time.