Microsoft is tempting more developers to build for its fitness-tracking wristband through boosting its software development kit (SDK) with Microsoft Band Web Tiles and Microsoft Health Cloud APIs (previews).

Launched last October, the Microsoft Band is a health-focused wearable that tracks a number of metrics, including heart rate, steps, and sleep. Though the company has entered a fairly competitive industry, with a number of big players including Jawbone and Fitbit long established, Microsoft has worked to make the Band more appealing by integrating with other services, including its own.

For example, the Band’s companion app, Microsoft Health, can tap data from Microsoft services such as Outlook and show how a person’s activities during the day may affect their sleep or levels of stress. Moreover, the cloud-based Microsoft Health service helps combine data from the Health app and the Band with data from third-party services, such as RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. And both the Health app and the Band integrate with HealthVault, which is kind of like Microsoft’s version of Apple’s HealthKit.

Microsoft has been working to open the Band to other services too, revealing back in April that it was building integration into two apps that are popular with cyclists — MapMyRide and Strava. Shortly after, Microsoft launched a full software development kit (SDK) for the Microsoft Health app, letting developers create apps specifically for the Band.

Today’s news is a natural extension of this, as Microsoft looks to make the Band more useful. Introducing Microsoft Band Web Tiles and Microsoft Health Cloud APIs is what the company calls “the next step” in bringing the Band ecosystem fully to developers.

Microsoft Band Tiles

Above: Microsoft Band Tiles

With the Microsoft Band Web Tiles Preview, developers can create at-a-glance information on the Microsoft Band from any other data source that’s available through the Web. The Web Tiles Authoring Tool lets developers author a mini tile to support Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The new Microsoft Health Cloud APIs allow developers to tap fitness data from Microsoft’s cloud service to enhance their own apps — though the extent of usefulness will depend, of course, on how much data a user stores in their cloud-based account.

While officially in preview mode, the first set of Microsoft Health APIs will be read-only, covering Activities and Summaries. This means that developers won’t be able to contribute data to a user’s cloud-based profile.

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