Microsoft has updated its Health app for Windows Phones, but owners of iOS and Android devices were not forgotten. With the new version of the fitness-tracking app, users from different platforms can now connect to each other.

This taps into the users' competitiveness, as they may now compare progress with friends. Humans are social beings, meaning that an active person who uses the interconnectivity of the app could motivate some of his friends to go from couch-potatoes to mild runners in only a few weeks.

A vast array of calorie-burning exercises, such as walking, running and even climbing flights of stairs are available with compare and contrast functionality.

One plus of the app is that it permits (and encourages) users to set wellness goals that are achievable and stick to them. As in many aspects of life, the start is slow and painful, but once you get rolling, things start falling into place.

By adding the comparison/competition feature, Microsoft urges friends to stay in touch with each other and use positive rivalry to encourage improvements.

Microsoft Health also uses colorful graphs and charts to keep track of progress. However, the dashboard is still really easy to read, even on mobile screens. With the GPS activated, there will be a clear running route map. The Guided Workouts are a great way for beginners to start getting into shape, and they take a little time to complete, as well.

The Microsoft Band 2 also benefits from the Health App upgrade: as many as 20 extra tiles were added, which makes sure important alerts are received that cater to specific user needs and preferences.

Thanks to the update, the wristband from the Windows developer can holster a wide number of notifications on its tiny screen. Notifications can now be received from major apps such as Facebook, alongside standard SMS or email.

Note that Microsoft still has yet to embed a "dismiss all" feature, meaning that settings must be manually defined.

For more information on how the gadget can help you get in shape, Tech Times has reported about the health advantages of owning a Band 2 device.

For Android devices, download Microsoft Health from the Google Play Store. Apple loyalists, meanwhile, can get the iTunes variant of the app.

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