Earlier today, Microsoft released a new update for the Band 2 fitness and activity tracker. The update came via a firmware upgrade, which bumps the firmware to version 2.0.4313.0.

Once the update is completed, users will have the option to enable Auto Pause for bicycle and running modes. General exercise modes like strength, stair climber and elliptical do not get the feature.

Auto Pause is a huge addition for runners and those who bicycle a lot.

For instance, I often ride a bike on a designated 'rail trail' here in Massachusetts, but it also runs through some major streets requiring you to stop and wait for a traffic light. Before, if I wanted to keep time I would have to pause when at the light and obviously un-pause when I start back up. The problem is sometimes you forget to either do the pause or (even worse) un-pause. Now, with the new feature enabled it should be all hands-on making this feature very significant for runners too.

Check firmware

To check you have the proper firmware, do the following:

  1. Open the Microsoft Health app
  2. Open the split view Menu () in the upper left corner
  3. Choose My Microsoft Band
  4. The Band software should read as 2.0.4313.0 R (or later)

If you do not have the update yet waiting 24 hours and reopening the app should force it automatically when the Band 2 syncs to your phone. Otherwise, you can force the update by uninstalling and reinstalling the Microsoft Health app (this is also one reason the app seemed like it was updated today as it can force this firmware update).

Enabling Auto Pause

By default, the Auto-Pause feature is set to off. To enable, do the following

  1. Tap the Run Tile and/or Bicycle Tile on the Band 2 directly
  2. Scroll over to Use GPS
  3. When on the Use GPS screen scroll down until you see Auto Pause (this part is actually counter intuitive)
  4. Toggle from Off to On

Note that you do not need to use GPS to utilize this feature, and you will need to enable it for either the Bicycle and Run Tile (it's up to you if you want either or both). Once the Auto Pause feature is on it should stay on thereafter.

Now, when you are bicycling or running the Band 2 will stop your session when you are standing still, getting water, taking a breath or like me waiting for the traffic light!

Microsoft has been adding many new features to the Band 2 since its release last October, but this one and the music player controls likely rank near the top for 'best of.'

Let us know what you think of the new Auto Pause feature and remember the Band 2 is currently on sale for $174.99 at Best Buy, http://Amazon.com, and the Microsoft Store, which is $75 off from its standard price.

See the Band 2 at the Microsoft Store

Need more help? Check out all our Band and Band 2 tips and tricks: Microsoft Band and Band 2 Help.

Download Microsoft Health from Windows Store (Free)

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