Microsoft’s Band is getting a very small keyboard.
The company on Tuesday unveiled its first major software update to its band since releasing the wrist-worn health tracker in October. Among the features: customers who sync the device to a Microsoft smartphone will be able to dictate text messages or use the band’s touchscreen (and a little virtual keyboard) to type them.
The update also includes Microsoft Health Web Dashboard, a portal to track and analyze the various exercise and sleep data collected by the band, a fitness-tracking mode optimized for bike riding, and a new preview of the toolkit that helps outside developers write applications for the band.
Microsoft has more details on a company blog post.
Microsoft’s Band, which sells for $199, is among a growing roster of wearable fitness trackers and smartphone companions.
Companies from Fitbit to Nike and Samsung are betting on increasing demand for gadgets that offer health-focused data or quick access to basic smartphone features like text messaging or calls. Apple’s highly touted entrant, the Watch, is expected to be released in the next few months.
Microsoft’s Band has occasionally been hard to come by, with customers in stores and online greeted by messages that the devices were temporarily sold out. The company said in a statement on Tuesday that though Microsoft’s Web store is currently sold out of the device, its brick-and-mortar retail stores were still receiving shipments.