The latest update for the Band 2 is going to increase its functionality by quite a bit while also helping to improve battery life by a not insubstantial amount. A new universal version of the Health app and a new Explorer tile will be welcome additions to an already advanced device.

Microsoft Band 2

The Band 2 is slowly getting more functionality, and a whole lot better

The new Explorer tile will let you use the built-in GPS to track a route while hiking, making it differentiate between that and a normal run. It also tracks the route you take on the small display, letting you drop points of interest with the touch of a button. Syncing with the new app will show the full details of the trip, from elevation changes and everything.┬áIt’s definitely a step towards making it a more friendly device for other activities.

The UV monitor has also been a tweaked slightly to be more accurate and it can also send you notifications to let you know when UV exposure is getting a bit dangerous, quite a useful feature when on a long hike outside. Just like before, it’ll give recommendations on what SPF you should be using to counteract any effects.

Microsoft has finally added in an auto-pause to the device so that it’ll detect when you’re just taking a rest from killing it so hard at the gym. That way your brief periods of inactivity won’t count against your progress. Even better, and perhaps a way to make it immensely useful despite being at the same time quite annoying, are the increased amount of smart notifications that it can send. The Band 2 will now remind you when you need to hydrate.

You can check out the video that explores the new features that are coming soon.