In addition to providing clearly evident features in Band updates, Microsoft has a habit of also pushing out fit-and-finish functions that are only recognized as you use the fitness device. For those that use the Band as a simple step counter, these “hidden” updates probably won’t matter much. But, for those that use Band for setting and achieving goals and taking full advantage of its features, the secret flourishes are nice touches. It’s like locating a buried treasure.
For this month’s update (read about it HERE), Microsoft provided a couple big features: weight tracking and GPS Power Saver, but there’s also a couple unspoken changes.
First, the goal achievement messages for steps and calories have been updated. Not a big change, just some fine tuning to make the achievements much more meaningful. One owner said, “The new messages actually cheer me up a little.” I’ve yet to catch one in a photo, but noticed them the first day after updating my Band.
The second thing, and one that I’ve seen questions about already, is that Microsoft removed the “Weightlifting“ option in the Exercise Tile and replaced it with “Strength.”
This actually makes sense, as it’s now a much broader category. Renaming it this way allows Band owners to track their “strength” workouts and then drop into the Microsoft Health app or the Microsoft Health Dashboard and apply a sub-category to the workout after the Band has synched the activity. For example, your strength workout could be a plyometric activity, isometrics, a Pilates session, or just a round of push-ups and pull-ups. All fall under the strength category and don’t incorporate actual weights. I use the manual sub-category option quite a bit. It gives you more data from which you can extrapolate your fitness progress and monitor what’s working and what’s not.