Microsoft updates the Band 2 with music controls and activity reminders

The new Microsoft Band is the most powerful daily activity tracker available today and today's update makes it even more capable.

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ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley posted her Microsoft Band 2 review for a first-time fitness band user in October and I'm working on a formal review from the perspective of a wearable fanatic. Look for that full review at the end of next week.

Microsoft's timing for my review is perfect as they just started rolling out a new update that adds music controls, move notifications, and exercise tile improvements. After just a few days I can tell you that the Band 2 is exceedingly more comfortable than the first band while offering even more in regards to sensing technology.

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The music control functionality is accessed by double pressing the power button, the large center button, on your Band 2. You will see the song title and artist alternate on the display with play/pause, skip forward, and skip back buttons. Swipe right and left to turn the volume up and down, each swipe adjust the volume one level.

The music controls work with any music app you use on your phone. I tested it with Google Play Music, Apple Music, and Spotify on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. This does not add music storage and playback support directly on your Band 2.

The Apple Watch is known for reminding you to stand every hour. The new Band update adds the ability to set time intervals and days for active reminders. You can make sure to set them up so you won't be reminded to move while sleeping or at the movies too.

You may have a particular exercise that you perform on a regular basis. With the exercise tile you can setup this exercise to appear as a tile to quickly track your duration, calorie burn, and heart rate. Your data will be collected and grouped by exercise type in your Microsoft Health dashboard.