Apple just pulled back the curtain on a new native app called Health at WWDC. Yes, this is the same health-tracking app we heard about a few months ago. And, yes, you can buy a variety of compatible fitness-tracking devices at the Apple Store. Health does more than count your steps though.
Health tracks it all with the help of a new API called HealthKit. From your blood pressure to your respiratory rate, this app aims to be a new sort of digital medical record keeper that you control. It does do the traditional fitness tracking tricks like monitor your activity and your sleep. However, it’s also set up to be a repository of information about your general health, and Apple enlisted the help of the Mayo Clinic to make this work better.
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the new HealthKit API is an obvious hook for a nonexistent piece of Apple hardware — say, something wearable.
Of course, there are already myriad apps and devices that can help you keep track of this kind of information. Health puts everything in one place, though. This is a pretty important innovation since you only have one body and because health is holistic. It’s also more proof — not that we needed it — that the iPhone is much more than a communication device. It’s the new personal computer that’s so much more personal than it’s hulking desktop predecessors. It even listens to your heartbeat.
Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate.
More Breaking Apple WWDC 2014 News
• Apple’s HomeKit Is An iPhone-Powered Universe Of Gadgets
• iOS Health: All The Important Data About Your Body In One Place
• Apple Is Turning Your Mac Into A Phone
• Apple’s iCloud Drive Takes A Swing At Dropbox