Health & fitness tracking features said to headline iOS 8

By , Jan 31, 2014

iWatch concept (All, Todd Hamilton 001)

Over the past year or so, Apple has been hiring a number of doctors and other experts in the medical field to work on an unknown project. And up until now, we’ve known little about its plans outside of recurring iWatch speculation.

But a new report out this afternoon may help shed some light on what it’s been working on. Apparently health and fitness tracking are going to be headlining features of iOS 8, and they’re expected to play well with Apple’s smartwatch…

Here’s 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman with the scoop:

“Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development.”

Gurman goes on to say that Apple is working on a new app for iOS 8 codenamed “Healthbook.” Similar to Passbook, the app will feature a stack of cards that each offer a fitness tracking or health data point and can be swiped between.

passbook_overview

So where is this app going to get all of this information? Well thanks to the M7 processor, Apple’s newer devices can count steps and measure other activity, but they can’t read vital signs. And that, Gurman says, is where the iWatch comes in.

“Based on the health information that iOS 8 is capable of reading, Apple’s wearable device will seemingly have sensors at least capable of measuring blood pressure, hydration, heart rate, and steps. iOS 8 combined with the iWatch is said to be able to monitor several other pieces of health and fitness data, but additional specifics are not as clear as of now.

Sources also hint that Apple has developed technologies to be able to pack several different sensors into a single chipset for miniaturization purposes.”

While it’s cautioned that Apple’s plans for iOS 8 could change, there’s a long line of evidence suggesting that the company is serious about getting into this space. In fact, the Times reported today that Apple executives met with the FDA last month.

We’re expecting iOS 8 to be unveiled at the World Wide Developers Conference in June this year, but word has it that Apple’s smartwatch won’t make its debut until the fall or later.

What are your thoughts on a vital sign-checking smartwatch? Would you buy one?

top image via Todd Hamilton

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  • Norbi Whitney

    number OF doctors*

    • LAGISSUEZ

      You know what’s great about IDB? It’s the fact that the readers feel like we’re actually a part of its community. What I mean is we can say “hey man, you’ve got a typo” or “hey, can we get a link to that cool wallpaper?” And they actually respond back! There is no sense of that on let’s say a Yahoo article. There you’re just another negative idiot posting a negative comment (you people should really see how negative the world is, go read yahoo article responses! I mean holy s**t man!) Anyway, thanks IDB, you are a bunch of cool dudes and dudets in my book.

      • brooks whiffen seale

        Yeah man, and iDB has credibility, and they are trustworthy. I mean, sebastian paige has a daughter and wife. I’d do almost anything that iDB says is okay.

      • Zod

        iDB staff is so kind and amazing too. I totally agree that I feel I am part of the community

      • 2008crna

        *Dudettes.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    It’s cool, but not something that I would be excited about for iOS 8…I would say more customization like 3rd party keyboards but it’s Apple so….oh and with this feature, the iPhone 6 BETTER have a bigger battery or else these features will be useless!

  • Framboogle

    I can imagine the tag line already:

    iOS 8: lose some weight

    • Jonathan

      That would probably be very insulting to some people though. But it is catchy. :D

      • romeodesigns

        Haha, it’s very catchy.
        I’m sold, where do it get it?

    • http://overreviewtech.blogspot.com/ Sergey Karchmit

      Nope. I think it will be iOS Air.

  • Jonathan

    How ’bout Widgets, Quick Reply, and Theming?
    I’m pretty sure if they are coming out with another stock app that is for health and for fitness, it will go in the folder with Passbook and Newsstand.

  • Hussain Alsanona

    I’m planning to buy one unless, I felt no need for it.

  • Rowan09

    Apple is trying to go deeper into the medical field and that’s a huge opportunity for them. I’m very interested to see what IOS 8 will look like.

  • Qubex_

    What about an iphone-iwatch?
    So, try to imagine an iphone that, flexed on your wrist, became a watch. I think it could be quite big, but cool.

    • Qubex_

      If someone will ever make a concept, please mention me

  • jay

    a big feature of iOS 8 will be users on the ipad so we can share an ipad in the family. the other thing will be quick reply and air drop cross function so i can air drop my pictures or documentes to my macbook.

  • Bangali

    Im not as keen as I was. Wouldn’t mind these features as a sideline but as main features? and its kinda getting creepy that they will have ur medical data now as well..!