Towards the end of April, Microsoft updated the Microsoft Band SDK to allow developers more access to the platform so they can customise their users’ experiences both in their mobile app and the Band Tile.
The features that are now available include:
- Fully working Band platform for Windows Store apps meaning it’s possible to create a universal Windows app with Band support
- Create custom page layouts through your app tile including icons, text, and buttons.
- Receive events from the Band when users click on buttons and activating or deactivating your app
- Connecting to the Band through background tasks.
- Get access to the calories from the Band.
One of the major features from the list above is the ability to create custom page layouts for your Band tile and this is where the Band Studio comes into play.
Band Studio is a Visual Studio 2013 extension that has been developed to make page layout’s easier for the developer using a visual editor much like the XAML editor you’ll be used to when developing your Windows apps.
To get yourself started once the extension is installed, you’ll be able to add a new “Microsoft Band Layout” item to your projects from the templates menu. Doing that will open up the editor for you to start creating great Microsoft Band experiences as in the image above.
When using the Band Studio, take into account the following based on the elements available:
- PageLayout, this is the parent element and can have no more than 3 child items
- FlowPanel, this is similar to the XAML StackPanel and cannot have more than 3 child items
- All other items that are not containers must have a corresponding identifier so that the valuescan be updated in the page
- This includes TextBlock, Glyph and Barcode
For more information on the new features available in the Microsoft Band SDK, you can grab the updated samples and documentation here.Download the Microsoft Band Studio extension
As a note, the Microsoft Band Studio is only available to create custom page layouts for Band applications using Visual Studio.