(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft just made Microsoft Band more useful.

Microsoft Band is a fitness band. Microsoft released it in the US last October for $199, but only now has it delivered the first major software update alongside a developer preview SDK that will allow app developers to start creating Band apps. Microsoft said it would shed more light on the SDK in the next month.

As for the new features, there is a Health dashboard that provides more detailed charts and insights, including summaries for calories, sleep, running, and exercise data, but you can only access the new dashboard on the web. Hopefully, with the next update, you'll be able to view the dashboard on the Health phone app.

Another new feature is a dedicated cycling tile that does GPS tracking, heart rate, calorie burn, duration, distance, etc. It even includes five downloadable cycling-related workouts. Microsoft has improved messaging as well, with an on-screen predictive keyboard that lets you type rather than use voice or your phone.

Apart from the new keyboard, there is also a new "quick read" mode, and according to CNET, it displays messages in a "speed-reading style" with large font instead of serving up a bunch of tiny, scrunched lines of text. And finally, Microsoft Band will now sync health data with MapMyFitness and Microsoft HealthVault.

Microsoft said it will push out monthly updates for Microsoft Band going forward.

READ: Microsoft Band announced with cross-platform Health app

Writing by Elyse Betters.