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A Replacement Weather Tile for the Microsoft Band

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I’ve been a (mostly) proud owner of a Microsoft Band 2 for several months now, but the biggest pain in my neck has been the fact that the weather tile on the Band just does not want to cooperate with iOS. After weeks of the Band being convinced I was located in Phoenix (hint: I’m not), I decided to try my hand at making my own webtile to replace the one that comes with the Band. I decided to use data from WeatherUnderground, both because I found it easy to use and because I actually use their forecasts and alerts regularly.

Now, a disclaimer: I’m not a coder. I can all but guarantee that the code I’ve written is not the most efficient, beautiful, or perhaps even functional. But for my purposes it gets the job done. Also, webtiles have some very clear limitations. They depend on the Microsoft Health app to push data to them, so they’ll only update at a set frequency (as much as every 30 minutes) and require the app to actually be running in the background to get any new data at all. This means that if your band hasn’t synced lately, your weather data will be out of date (most important for the current weather). This also means you’ll have to keep the Bluetooth on your phone active to ensure the sync can occur regularly.

Get the Weather Tile for Your Band

Step 1: Download the .zip file

Click here to go to the download page. Don’t forget to save it in a place where you’ll actually be able to find and open it.

Step 2: Get a WeatherUnderground API Key

Sign up for an API Key from WeatherUndergound here. Choose “Stratus Plan” and “Developer”. It’s free, and assuming you don’t share your key with the entire neighborhood, it should be more than enough for your individual needs.

Step 3: Add Your Key to the Webtile

Extract the contents of WeatherTile.zip and then open manifest.json in a text editor of your choice. If you scroll down to “resources”, you’ll find a url that starts with http://api.wunderground.com. If you keep reading, you’ll find a part in the url that says INSERTYOURAPIKEYHERE. Copy your key from WeatherUnderground and paste it in place of that text. Don’t forget to save the file afterward.

Step 4: Rebuild Your Webtile

The contents of the original WeatherTile.zip were an icons folder, the manifest.json file, and a readme.txt file. Select ONLY the icons folder and manifest.json and create a new .zip file with a name of your choosing. Once done, rename the extension from “.zip” to “.webtile”.

EDIT: User primortal has a tip for those of you having issues with this step. Windows 10 has the option to right click a folder, then use Send to > Compressed (Zipped) Folder. Try that and it should work. Thanks!

Step 5: Install Your Webtile

Email the new .webtile file to yourself at an email address you can access from your phone. Open the email and click on the .webtile attachment. It’ll automatically open in Microsoft Health, and it will ask if you want to install the new webtile. Choose the checkmark at the bottom to accept and let the app do its thing. Once it’s done updating, scroll to the last tile on your Band to see the weather. You can change the position of the tile in the Microsoft Health app itself.

Step 6: Enjoy!

And don’t forget to leave a comment with any suggestions for how I can make this tile better. Thanks for your time, and I hope you like it!

  • David Rittenhouse

    Used 7Zip to create the new webtile.zip, and it failed every time I tried to open it on my phone. Used the zip function built in to Windows 10, and it worked perfectly.

    • Glad it ended up working out for you. Did you happen to look inside the webtile.zip made by 7Zip? It might’ve put all of them into an extra folder, which is why it didn’t work (I ran into this problem myself so many times before I finally figured out the problem).

      • primortal

        Neel I was having the same problem when I first ran across your article; great one at that. After reading David R. post I used Windows 10 send to Compress Folder and it worked like a champ. You might want to update Step 4 with this little nugget 😀

        • Thanks for the tip! I’ve updated the article to add the “Send to” option.

  • os1019

    No matter what I try I keep getting an unknown error. What can I do to overcome issue?

    • Before you rename your webtile’s extension, open the .zip file and ensure it has only two things inside: 1) manifest.json 2) a folder named “icons”. If, instead, it has a folder of its own inside (e.g., a folder named webtile that has the two items inside it), that explains the problem. Can you look into that and let me know what you find? Thanks.

      • os1019

        The only two things inside the folder is the manifest.json and icon folder nothing else. I retried the process and ended up with the same results.

        • Are you using the SI or Imperial units version? What program are you using to zip the files? Can you tell me exactly what the error message you’re getting is?

          • os1019

            I am using imperial units version. To zip the files I am using the compress file feature in Windows 10 via send to.

          • Do you have file extensions on in Windows Explorer? When you make your zip file, does it show up as WeatherTile or WeatherTile.zip? If you’re not set to see extensions, then going from WeatherTile to WeatherTile.webtile won’t change the fact that it’s a .zip extension. This is probably one of those situations where a picture would save a thousand words. If you’re able to screenshot everything it’d probably help a ton.

          • Boy that is a really unhelpful error message. Have you tried installing another webtile to see if the issue is actually related to your installation of WeatherTile or whether it could be something more general to do with your Band syncing with your phone? I assume you’re running a Windows Phone based on the look of that message. I’m not too familiar with them as I use an iPhone. Perhaps something as goofy as restarting your Band could help; I’m really not sure at this point.

  • Fabien Majurel

    Great application Neel ! I only have one question: how does it set my location ? Does it use the zip code I put in my Health profile ? Or do you use the information from phone GPS ?

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