Science and Tech


Apple’s iOS 8 Could Build In Fitness Tracking: Report

Apple is reportedly planning health and fitness tracking features for iOS 8, which could pair with the company’s rumored iWatch.
Posted at 12:05 PM, Feb 01, 2014

New reports indicate Apple's next mobile OS will be focused on fitness.

9to5Mac cites sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, who say fitness tracking will be one of iOS 8' main selling points.

An application called "Healthbook," which bears visual similarities to iOS' existing Passbook app, will track everything from steps taken, calories burned and heart rate to blood pressure, hydration and medication timetables.

9to5Mac's sources say the software could tie closely to the rumored iWatch, which would use medical and fitness sensors to track all of this data and send it to an iPhone.

The report comes as Apple met with FDA policymakers last week, in what industry watchers say might have been discussions on getting health software and hardware regulated. (Via The New York Times)

In the meantime, Apple is collecting staffers from medical technology fields. Earlier this month, it made headlines for its hires, which include experts on biometrics and fitness consultants. (Via Re/code)

This could be follow-through on what has long been an area of interest for Apple. Last year at D10 Tim Cook predicted "The whole sensor field is going to explode." (Via AllThingsD)

Apple isn't alone, though. iMore points out if Apple does go through with fitness tracking, it would then be in direct competition with all the apps in its store that do the same thing.

"It's possible other apps will be allowed access to the same sensor information, and could potentially offer features outside Apple's focus, but Apple is going to enjoy the first, best level of integration on the devices."

Apple has yet to issue any timeline for the release of its next hardware or software iterations — and of course it hasn't addressed any of the rumors surrounding health tracking or a possible iWatch.