Refreshed Microsoft Band SDK Puts More Smartphone Control on Your Wrist

Refreshed Microsoft Band SDK Puts More Smartphone Control on Your Wrist

Shortly after the last major update to the Microsoft Band in February (there were actually two big updates in February), Microsoft released a refreshed version of the Band SDK. As promised, the company delivered new functions for developers, one of which has huge implications for how deeply the Microsoft Band will work with Windows 10 Mobile.

Here’s what was added:

  • Provides the current day's values for the Altimeter, Calories, Distance, Pedometer and UV sensors.
  • Enables Windows Phone 10 Universal Apps to handle tile events in the background. The supported tile events are TileOpened, TileClosed and TileButtonPressed. This feature removes the limitation that Windows Phone 10 apps need to run in the foreground to handle tile events.

The first new feature exposes new sensor information to developers, which is great, but the second is a considerably more interesting function to me. What this adds is the ability for developers to use the Band as a sort of remote control for their Windows 10 Mobile apps. You can essentially use your Microsoft Band to perform actions against any Windows 10 Universal App installed on your phone as long as it has been developed to listen to the Band’s commands. These actions can be performed using Band tiles or through voice using Cortana. I'm curious what scenarios you might be able to dream up for this.

These features are only available for Microsoft Band 2 (not version 1). I still hear and read about people complaining that Band v1 isn’t getting new features, but we’re a couple years on at this point. It’s not surprising. Incidentally, I have it on good word that Band v3 is already being tested. I hope to have more to share on that in the near future.

You can always catch the Band SDK updates from the permanent SDK Release Notes page: Microsoft Band SDK Release Notes

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