Get Fit With Microsoft Health, Windows Phone By The Numbers [Tech News Digest]

Also, wearables banned from movie theaters, YouTube goes 60fps, watch people making games on Twitch, and Mike Tyson plays Punch-Out!!

Microsoft Bands Together For Health

Microsoft has unveiled Microsoft Health, a platform that stands as its attempt to wrestle control of the burgeoning health and fitness market. Going hand-in-hand with Microsoft Health is the Microsoft Band, a smart wearable designed to track your health and fitness.

Microsoft Health is a platform designed to compile and analyze health and fitness data from around the world. In order for Microsoft to control this market, Health works on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, with apps having been developed for all three major mobile operating systems. They’re available to download right now for free.

Microsoft Band is the first piece of hardware to take advantage of Microsoft Health. It’s a smart fitness band that is worn 24 hours a day, tracking your heart rate, the number of steps you have taken, and the length of your stride. It also displays text and email alerts, as is becoming standard on wearable devices. Microsoft Band is priced at $199 and available from today across the U.S.

Windows Phone Is Still Struggling

Despite my best efforts to persuade you all to consider switching to Windows Phone, Microsoft’s mobile operating system is still struggling to compete against Android and iOS. We know this thanks to the latest smartphone sales figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In the last quarter ending September 2014, the Windows Phone market share has dropped slightly in most countries year-on-year. In both the United States and Europe, Windows Phone has dropped 0.3 percent, while in China it’s down 2.8 percent, and in Australia 3.1 percent.

The two exceptions to this trend are Japan and Italy, where Windows Phone enjoyed increases of 0.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. As a side note, Japan appears to fallen out of love with the iPhone, with the iOS market share dropping 15.9 percent. Most of which transferred to Android.

While these numbers are rather depressing both for Microsoft and fans of Windows Phone, Windows 10 is set to change everything by unifying Microsoft’s operating system across all platforms. So, it’s a case of, “Goodbye Windows Phone, Hello Windows 10.”

Wearables Banned From Movie Theaters

Wearable devices are now pretty much banned from movie theaters across the United States. This is due to a joint statement by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO!) suggesting a “zero tolerance policy” towards devices capable of recording video.

According to Ars Technica, the statement reads, “Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave. If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.

Google Glass is the obvious target here, but with wearable devices growing in popularity it’s far from the only offender. Especially when you consider that smartphones are just as likely to be used for illicit recordings as wearable devices. Who know, perhaps they’re next on the ban list.

YouTube Adds Support For 60fps Video

YouTube has finally added support for videos running at 60fps (frames-per-second). This feature was promised earlier in the year, and has now been spotted in the wild. Videos running at 60fps look much smoother than their 50fps counterparts.

To see the new 60fps YouTube videos in action for yourself, simply click on the Settings cog on the video embedded above and change the Quality to either 720p60 or 1080p60. And then marvel at the visual feast your eyes are enjoying.

Game Development Streams On Twitch

Twitch has added a new ‘Game Development‘ category featuring people making and modding games rather than actually playing them. Twitch, newly acquired by Amazon, normally lets people stream themselves playing games, but this new section shows people working on games behind the scenes rather than showing off their gaming prowess to the world.

Mike Tyson Plays Punch-Out!!

And finally, we get to see Mike Tyson playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! And about time too.

Punch-Out!! is an absolute classic in the world of video games. Sure, it came out on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, so it’s fair to say the visuals aren’t exactly state of the art, but nostalgia has a way of compensating for these shortfalls. Especially when Old Man Mike Tyson is competing against Young Iron Mike Tyson.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

What do you think of Microsoft Health and the Microsoft Band? Will Windows Phone ever succeed against Android and iOS? Is the MPAA right to ban all wearables from movie theaters?

Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

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