Microsoft brings web tiles to the Band, introduces new cloud APIs for Health

Microsoft has announced some new features and functionality for both the Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health. The Microsoft Band will now be able to receive glanceable information from nearly any source, thanks to the addition of web tiles.

With this, developers will be able to leverage internet connectivity to deliver even more content right to the band, and the tiles are supported by all platforms where Microsoft Health is available. Developers will only need to "author" a web tile once, and it will support Windows, iOS, and Android.

In addition, Microsoft is introducing a preview of its Health Cloud API. This is the company's first step towards making Microsoft Health easier to work with. Developers will be able to enhance the experience of their apps with more fitness data from Health, and to start developers will be able to work with read-only APIs.

As part of the preview, the first set of APIs that we are providing are read-only APIs for Activities and Summaries designed to provide developers read operations for Microsoft Health activity data, as well as interval based summaries for biometric data. When a user finishes a run, an application can query the Activities API and access details of the run as well as map points for the entire run that can then be used to create a map.

Microsoft is also making some enhancements to the Band SDK. The following areas are currently being addressed:

  • Refreshing of 3rd-party tile contents in-place
  • Better support for building icons as buttons
  • Ability to control the tile screen timeout

With the new functionality, developers should be able to further tap the potential of the Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health.

Source: Lumia Conversations{.nofollow}

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

47 Comments
  • I don't understand what this means. :(
  • Basically, 1) Band is getting cool live/web tiles and 2) it will be easier for developers to make apps that can check (and work with) your activity statistics in the Microsoft Health platform.
  • I have a Microsoft Band on right now, and I'm using a Windows Phone to write this, but with Microsoft's Mobile strategy in shambles I don't know that this means anything. Who's going to invest when Microsoft os only sorta committed for limited time, maybe?
  • They're going to give Lumia a shot for 2 years, and if the situation really hasn't improved... We don't know for sure yet. Yeah they might give up - but only on Lumia, not on Windows 10.
  • Developers on the fence about building or upgrading WP apps just jumped off yesterday. No question to me, without native Android apps, the app gap will explode.
  • Source for the press releases about all these developers dumping their WP apps? It seems like you are tying a little too hard to force a discussion about WP into an unrelated article.
  • The mobile strategy isn't in shambles, it's actually more focused than ever before. Understand that Windows 10 has been designed to account for all device types, and that includes mobile. Much of what was announced at Build this year, including Continuum, are part of the mobile strategy. Universal apps are part of the mobile strategy. If Microsoft gets out of mobile completely, then they could probably layoff a quarter of the company, because all of that development would no longer be necessary and Windows 10 would become a complete disaster. Imagine..."Windows 10...it runs on all hardware...except phones." And besides, what is a phone but a small tablet. Microsoft isn't getting out of mobile.
  • It means I want a band in watch form.
  • Coming to Canada any time soon?
  • Wait for band 2. Bcoz the current one is full great features but its hardware isn't still up to the mark.
  • Hardware is fine to me.
  • Same here. Band is good to me. I have to admit that you do have to get use to wearing it. I tried wearing it on my other arm, and it felt totally weird.
  • I have no plans to bring my band to Canada. Thanks for asking though.
  • lol hilarious
  • I want a Windows Central tile on my wrist!
  • Here you go... Navigate to http://developer.microsoftband.com/WebTile Click Get started. Accept the license agreement if it displays Select Multipage tile. Select Scrolling text wrap. Click Next Provide the URL (http://www.windowscentral.com/rss). Click Next Scroll down the tree to "item". Drag item's Title line to the space on the tile named "Header" Drag item's Description line to the space on the tile named "Body lines...". Click Next Pick a color and supply required info. I used Paint.NET (http://www.getpaint.net/) to quickly create my large and small icons from a screen shot of WindowsCentral.com zoomed in. Click Next Click Download My Web Tile Email the .webtile file an email account accessible to your phone Open the .webtile file attachment on your phone When the Microsoft Health app asks, confirm that you want to add the web tile to your Band Enjoy your new tile on your Band Unfortunately, the actual Windows Central web tile displays all the HTML tags in the item description, unlike the nicely cleaned up preview in you see in step 6. So, your Windows Central web tile is less useful than it could be. The Microsoft Health app will refresh the contents every 30 minutes, but you can easily hack the .webtile file to specify any interval 15 minutes or longer. Click the Documentation link on http://developer.microsoftband.com/WebTile for more information.
  • Wow, thanks for the detailed instructions! It's 12 steps and I'm lazy. I suppose I can wait. :)
  • This is ace! Just when I heard about project Westminster I was thinking, what does it mean for everything in the ecosystem? They must do something more with the Band. And here it is! I like the new Microsoft.
  • finally an update worth mentioning...kind of
  • These are nice additions but I still want music controls and a sleeker Band. I love mine, but the bulkiness gets to me sometimes.
  • I am so excited for a second edition
  • I would love music controls. I want to change songs while I'm biking haha
  • Grab an Android phone and you can have them: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... Kills me how much better everything MS is on Android.
  • There is an app called music Band for windows phone that will let you control your music but it has to be music you have installed on your phone and not part of music pass. If they made one to control xbox music that would be amazing as I stream all my music to save space on my phone.
  • I don't get how you guys missed the fundamental function of Cortana....... She does all this meaning it already does your music...
  • But only if you have a Windows phone.
  • Cortana's speech recognition is pretty good, but sometimes having her trigger specific music functions is like giving instructions to a disobedient child.
  • 100% agree lack of music control kills me because A) Cotona can do it if you use your voice. Which I dont feel comfortable saying next track,next track,next track,next track, at the gym. B) Theres an app on Android So this brings up the question. WTF microsoft 
  • Bulkiness (its sadly like 5 degrees off from actually curving around your arm) not waterproof needs harddrive to store music (gps smartwatches dont have Hardrive so you need your phone to run. Smartwatches with hardrive dont have GPS, so you need your phone to run :(  )    
  • When will it be available in Asia?
  • any chance they can add more tiles soon? I feel like i have to constantly switch out tiles all time... besides that, i love my band tho
  • Probably a strict memory problem.
  • How many of the tiles on your Band do you actually use? I turned off the ones I don't use and had space for 4 more before adding my own web tiles.
  • When are they going to allow more tiles on the Band?
  • Memory is a constraint on electronic devices :) Just wait for Band v2
  • How come there are no pony rides on the Band? Alsowhy no genie to grant three wishes? This is unacceptable. I'm going to go whine on some message board somewhere.
  • Glad they're updating Band, but I hope they have a plan to bring all of this forward to a W10-based wearable.
  • When will the Band work with WinXM?  Mine still can't connect.
  • Mine works fine, try re-pairing
  • Good to know it works.  I'll keep at it. thx Edit: Got it.
  • The tile issue could be fixed if apps could display in the notification center when their tile isn't present. That way I wouldn't need a messenger tile, a facebook tile, a twitter tile, etc. The presence of the notification center tile would direct those notifications there instead (or using a selector switch to direct to the notification tile when the app is active and no tile is present.).
  • I hope the configurable timeout will work in apps, e.g., the torch.
  • Just want basic media playback controls
  • My Band receives information but cant sent any... Connecting.... Is all I get.
  • first i am a nooby to this. i have a few ???  1. do you have to have your own web site, or can you use a free host i have comcast and they offer a free site.  2. if so can some one walk me through on building a tile...i have epalepsy and take several medications and want a tile that can remind me to take my meds at the right time.  when i am at work i set my phone with multiple alarms but keep getting into trouble due to it going off so having the band remind me will help.  if anyone can help me out. thanks  
  • New features? Cool. Shame the majority of people can't buy one.
  • With every update, the band is getting closer to being a smartwatch.