At WWDC 2014, Apple announced its foray into the fitness tracking space on Monday with a new Health app and a service called HealthKit coming to iOS 8.
The health app will initially pull data from third-party fitness and health-monitoring hardware, the person said, but it will most likely be able to connect with a smart watch that Apple is widely expected to release this year.
It will be powered by Healthkit, a set of tools that will allow developers to build bespoke apps around health and wellbeing, from sleep monitoring and stress reduction to exercise and blood testing.
An Apple-provided health application will bring a lot more attention to the benefits that tracking your health data on a smartphone can provide.
During a keynote presentation at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center in San Francisco, the company introduced new features coming to the next-generation software for the iPhone and iPad.
While developers use HealthKit, consumers will see the Health app. The concept is similar to Apple’s Passbook app, the iPhone’s virtual pocket for things like airline boarding passes, movie tickets and coupons.
It will be able to pull in data from other third-party apps such as Nike to keep all your health-related information in one hub.
The fitness monitoring app will likely go head-to-head with wristband trackers like the Fitbit and Jawbone, but having access to vital health data would be relatively new to smartphones.
The company recently patented the technology for smartphones to keep track of this type of cardiac data. Although the iPhone 5S doesn’t have the ability to monitor these vitals, it does have fitness-tracking abilities.
The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Apple has hired various health and fitness experts in the past year to work on hardware and software development.