Microsoft Band 2 stretches its juice with low-power GPS mode

With Fitbit’s launch of its new Alta band, we’ve got wearables on the mind, but today it’s not just new models that are catching our attention. We’re also checking out the arrival of a new update for one of last year’s models, as Microsoft delivers some new features for its own wearables, updating its Microsoft Health companion app and helping the Band 2 stretch its battery life to new lengths.

While some of us will use a fitness tracker to just generally keep on top of our physical activity, there’s no shame in admitting that many of us are interested in losing weight. To that end, Microsoft’s giving its Health app new weight-tracking tools, helping users to easily visualize their progress as they approach their target weight.

As for that battery-life tweak, Microsoft’s introducing a new power-saving mode that helps conserve your wearable’s charge when using the Band 2’s GPS receiver to track position data. While both the original Band and new Band 2 support GPS reception, this update is only for the second-gen model, and takes GPS readings less frequently in an effort to reduce power consumption – while still getting enough data to let you accurately track your run.

Both the updated Health app and new Band 2 firmware are available now.

Source: Microsoft

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!