I was a Fitbit fan. Still am. They're great devices--durable as hell, with fantastic analytics and an outstanding API. When I heard that Microsoft was releasing its own "fitness" band, I was skeptical, but when I saw that it was integrated with my calendar, email, and SMS / text messages, and it had the same (or better) fitness features as the Fitbit, I was more than interested. The fact that it was also integrated with Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant app, was icing on the cake for me. I dutifully went to my local Microsoft store and got one.
You never really recover from being a developer. Once it's in your blood, you're a developer for life. So of course, being the code junkie that I am, as soon as I got the Band, I wanted to write an app for it--or two or three. My app idea notebook just got a new section.
Fast forward four months. I can finally start writing apps for the Band; the MS Band SDK (Software Developer Kit) was released on Feb 23rd across all platforms (Windows, Android and iOS). You can get your copy of the SDK here. Watch this page for news on what I have up my sleeve.
In addition to the SDK, Microsoft released an update for the Band and its accompanying Health App that offers some much-needed improvements, including integration to MapMyFitness (YES!) and tracking for bicycle workouts. A new personal fitness dashboard brings it close to the analytics that are available for the Fitbit product line. All in all, a pretty good (and much needed) update. I hope there's more to come, and I'll be interested to see what ideas others come up with for apps. If you have one, I hope you'll write to me and let me know.