Microsoft is boosting its software development kit (SDK) with Microsoft Band Web Tiles and Microsoft Health Cloud APIs, with the objective of attracting more developers to build for its fitness-tracking wristband. The health-focused wearable wrist band, launched last October, is embedded with lots of features that track a number of metrics including heart rate, steps and sleep.
Microsoft comes with “the next step”
Microsoft has been making efforts to integrate Band with other services, and in April it revealed of a work-in-progress to combine the Band with two popular apps- MapMyRide and Strava. The recent announcement is just an extension of those efforts.
To prepare an exclusive Band, Microsoft has put extra efforts to assimilate it with other services, including its own. This has helped the software firm to position its gadget in a highly competitive industry, which has players such as Jawbone and Fitbit.
How it benefits users, developers?
Microsoft’s Health Cloud APIs have a feature to enhance a user’s own app as it permit developers to get fitness data from Microsoft’s cloud. However, the level of usefulness will totally depend upon the amount of information that users store in their cloud-based accounts.
With Microsoft Band Web Tiles developers can create an overview of info on the Band from any reliable web source. The Web Tiles Authoring Tool allows developers to create a mini tile to support Android, iOS and Windows Phones.
To prove the effectiveness of the Band’s companion app, Microsoft Health, it can pick up data from Outlook (a Microsoft service) to suggest how a person’s sleep and stress level is impacted based to his or her daytime activities. In addition, Microsoft’s Health service facilitates combining data from the Health app and the Band, along with data from third-party services such as RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. Moreover, the Health app and the Band combines with Health Vault to create something similar to Apple’s Healthkit.
As Microsoft Health APIs are still in the preview mode, they are read-only, and cover Activities and Summaries, suggesting developers may not be able to add data to the user’s cloud profile for now.