Microsoft Band is a fitness device with smartwatch capabilities – not the other way around as some people try to suggest to ensure there’s some sort of comparison that can be made between Band and Apple Watch. And, as such, the importance of Microsoft Band is – well – fitness. The smartwatch capabilities are definitely useful and full featured, but Band is much more than a glorified clock.
The notification features of Microsoft Band are hugely valuable, allowing you to quickly glance down to see when emails flow in, texts pop-up, or important (and non-important) phone calls break up a boring day. But, particularly after creating custom circuit and interval workouts with the new Build a Workout feature in the Workout Planner inside the Microsoft Health Dashboard, constant notifications can be annoying and actually screw up your workout.
I’ve developed a few workouts over the past few weeks – some that I’m still using. For circuit workouts you rely on the Band’s vibration at your wrist to know when to rest or switch exercises, and you generally don’t look at the Band until it vibrates. But, a text, email, Twitter, or phone notification vibrates just the same as a completed circuit segment. For example, I created a circuit workout that includes jump rope activities and there’s no way for me to safely look down at my wrist without screwing up the rope rotation. So, when these notification vibrations come in I have to stop my activity to look down at my wrist to figure out if it’s really time to switch exercises only to find that a new Twitter mention came in instead. Ultimately annoying.
For me, notifications are fine for runs, bike rides, or non-guided workouts, since I’m not relying on wrist vibrations for any part of the workout. And, these types of workouts are usually longer activities so knowing when an important email or phone call comes in is important. I can pause the activity, take a phone call, and then get back to working out. But, for circuit workouts, it’s best just to turn notifications off using the “Do Not Disturb” function of the Microsoft Band.
To do this:
- Swipe over to the Settings tile on the Microsoft Band and tap to expose the tiles underlying options.
- Tap the first setting option (which is the Do Not Disturb option).
- Tap to turn ON the “Do Not Disturb” option.
Just like Microsoft has now incorporated an alarm into the Sleep tile, I’m hoping the “Do Not Disturb” option will eventually be incorporated into the Guided Workouts tile.