Microsoft Band 2 Adds Cortana Support for Android

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Android users can now tap into the power of Cortana on the Microsoft Band 2.

Previously, the digital personal assistant was only available via Redmond's fitness tracker if you had a Windows phone.

"With Cortana on your Band, you can access...instant notifications of important events, communications, and voice-active info without reaching for your phone," the Google Play store description says. "Speak into the mic on your Band to [get] Cortana to take actions for you."

You'll need the latest Microsoft Band wearable and an Android smartphone with the Microsoft Health app and Cortana app; once the update is complete, remember to add Cortana via the Manage Tile section of the app. The feature is currently available only in the US, according to The Digital Lifestyle.

The update also takes a page from the fitness-tracker book to lets folks compete with others: Create challenges for steps, cardio score, runs, and bike rides between Facebook friends using Microsoft Health.

The update also lets folks compete with other users: Challenge Facebook friends to see who can take the most steps, earn the highest cardio score, or complete the most runs and bike rides in a term.

Redmond updated its fitness band in February, adding a GPS Power Saver mode that samples your location at various intervals instead of continuously following your every move, extending the wearable's two-day battery life for up to four hours. It also launched a new weight-tracking functionality that highlights monthly changes and an approximate Body Mass Index (BMI).

Just last month, the company rolled out new features for Microsoft Band and Health users, including a new hiking experience via the Explore Tile, which uses built-in GPS to track your route on the band's display, letting you drop points of interest along the way. Plus, the companion Health app hit the Windows Store, available to download on Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

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