Besides the physical improvements of the Microsoft Band in version 2, there’s actually a bunch of small but valuable nuances you won't find unless you're using it as a fitness device. I’ll be digging into each of those as my testing continues.
As most of you know by following my Microsoft Band articles, it’s safe to say that I run quite a bit. The ability for the Band to track distance, pace, and duration are some of my personally favorite factors. Using the Band’s customization features, you can choose what to display on the screen and also what to display on the “second” screen. Microsoft calls this the “drawer,” but is a second screen that you can show just by swiping to the left during activities. Band v1 offered the drawer, but was accessed by swiping down from the top.
Due to my crazy work schedule, a lot of times I will plan my runs based on the day’s con-call schedule. I’ll look through my day and determine an hour or two to fit in a good run. But, as most of you have experienced, sometimes even your runs can result in complications and take longer than you originally planned. Maybe you have to reroute due to rabid dog avoidance, or someone stops you to ask for directions, but sometimes the run takes longer than anticipated.
To finish the run on time I’d need to quicken my pace, but would need to know the actual time of day first to figure out by how much, so I could make the next con-call with time to catch my breath. On Band v1, there was a convoluted procedure to getting the time display, but that action would sometimes shut down the activity completely.
Changes in the Microsoft Health app for Band v2 now offers the ability to include the “Time” on your main display or in the drawer.
Go to Manage Tiles then choose the Activity (Run or Bike), and tap the pencil icon (Edit).
Configure your Main display and your Drawer display, including “Time” in one of the supplied Metric values.
Here’s how I have mine setup in case you need suggestions.
Main display: Distance, Average Pace, Duration
Drawer: Time, Heart Rate, Calories, Elevation Gain
This may seem like an overly simplistic feature, but for Band v1 owners, this is a big score of a new feature.
Microsoft Band v2 on Amazon.com: Microsoft Band 2