The excitement of new things can lull you into a sense of false security. Take for example, Microsoft’s new Surface Book. Microsoft delivered review units to certain bloggers a couple weeks prior to 2-in-1’s launch. The reviews were glowing. But, now a couple months and lingering bugs later, those reviews aren’t quite as glowing as they were in the beginning.
To get a good sense of something you have to actually use it. So, the announcement and then delivery of the December update for Band v2 yesterday (new features covered HERE) now comes with a couple gotchas after almost 24 hours of use.
Bug 1 – The December update gives Band v2 owners onscreen music controls, however, if you use a Bluetooth headset to connect to your smartphone (I still use the Plantronics BackBeat Fit that was recommended to me) the Band will not connect. And, it’s not just headphones. I’m hearing that it’s any second Bluetooth device you want to connect to your smartphone. The Bluetooth 4.0 specification allows multiple, shared Bluetooth instances, but the Band is not work that way.
EXTRA: Music controls are actually implemented completely differently on each phone platform.
Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Mobile 10 uses the Bluetooth standard media control profile called AVRCP.
Too much variance was found in different Android phones' support for AVRCP, so the Band goes through the Health app to control music on Android.
Apple has their own Bluetooth music control standard that is used instead of AVRCP when talking to iOS devices.e43.
Bug 2 SOLVED – Another feature delivered in the December update is the ability to give your Exercise activities custom “names” or categories (again, see HERE for that feature). I was able to test it this morning and it doesn’t work. When I kicked off my morning weight workout I chose the new “weightlifting” category, but when the Band synched with the Dashboard the activity is registered just as “My exercise” (the category selection wasn’t retained).
Some additional information on this bug that I discovered is that even though the Microsoft Health Dashboard didn’t pick up the new exercise category, MapMyFitness (I use this connected integration) did pick up the new ‘weightlifting’ category. Strange.
So, it is synching the data, just not being stored in the Dashboard view. I suspect the Dashboard will get an update soon.
Bug 3 SOLVED - Juha Uotila says that Band v2 won't pair to an Android device that has been upgraded to Android 6.0.1. This is not a Band problem, but an Android problem. Microsoft is working on a fix now. P.S. This problem affects Band v1 and Band v2.
I’m working with Microsoft on the first two of these, but it always helps to have group representation. The more reports of problems, the quicker Microsoft will be attentive. If you’re experiencing either of these issues, drop me a note on Twitter or in the comments below.
The December Band v2 update is good, let’s just hope Microsoft can get it working as announced.