Apple Sets Its Sights on Health & Fitness Tracking

personal_trainer_apps-mainIt’s no secret that health and fitness apps are some of the best sellers in the App Store. Apple has taken notice, and it plans to release a new iOS operating system this year with health and fitness tracking as its main features.

iOS 8 will include an application currently codenamed “Healthbook.” This software will be able to monitor and store fitness stats such as steps taken, number of calories burned, and miles walked. Plus, the app can manage and track weight loss. The Healthbook app will be pre-installed in iOS 8 and will challenge similar offerings from Nike and Fitbit. Here’s some of the preliminary information that we know about Healthbook.

Health Tracking
Healthbook will differentiate itself from similar apps by monitoring not only fitness stats, but a user’s vital signs, too. It will be able to track blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and other blood-related data points like glucose levels.

It’s also rumored that the software will allow users to enter details about their medications so that they can be reminded to take pills at certain times.

App Interface
Healthbook’s interface might look a lot like the Passbook app, a native app on iOS for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials people usually keep in their wallets.

The Healthbook app’s interface is a stack of cards that the user can easily swipe through. Each card represents a different health data point. The prototype looks a lot like Passbook, except the graphics are tailored to vital signs.

Of course, it’s possible that the Healthbook app could be scrapped from iOS 8 before it hits the market. Apple always develops multiple new features ahead of a software update and then finalizes which features make the cut when they’re closer to launch time.

The tech buzz for 2014 is all about wearable technology. Apple is jumping on the bandwagon, too, and it’s rumored that they’re currently developing a smart watch.

The iWatch will most likely have sensors that track and measure human vital signs. Then, Healthbook could collect all of that data and read/sort/track it. Inside sources say that the iWatch’s development is heavily reliant on integrating with the iPhone.

Based on the health information that iOS 8 will be able to read, it’s likely that the iWatch will have sensors to measure blood pressure, hydration, heart rate, and steps taken. It’s also rumored that Apple is developing technologies to be able to pack several different types of sensors into a single chipset so that they can miniaturize.

Other Changes in iOS 8
Aside from Healthbook, there will be some other changes to iOS within iOS 8. It’s not likely that iOS 8 will include a major interface change or graphics design like iOS 7, but there will be enhancements across the entire system.

Apple has been working on updates to its indoor mapping and transit directions. Mapping functionality will likely be a key component of the iWatch.

Of course, Apple is pretty tight lipped about what it’s working on, so much of these predictions are conjecture. We’re looking forward to hearing more about iOS 8 in the coming months!

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