Apple's focus on fitness for iOS 8 said to include Healthbook app, iWatch data collection

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| Published: January 31, 2014

Apple iPad 3 rear

How about a juicy iOS 8 and iWatch rumor to help carry us into the weekend? That's precisely what I've got for you today, as a new report claims to have details on some of the tentpole features that Apple is working on for iOS 8, as well as some details related to the Cupertino firm's oft-rumored iWatch wearable.

Sources speaking to 9to5Mac claim that Apple is prepping an app called "Healthbook" for inclusion with iOS 8. As you could probably guess from the name, the app is said to focus on things like steps taken, calories burned and weight loss tracking. The Healthbook app will reportedly be able to keep tabs on a user's blood pressure, hydration levels and more as well. The app itself is described as looking like Apple's Passbook app for loyalty cards, but with cards for health data rather than your Starbucks membership card.

Meanwhile, it's said that Apple could use its upcoming iWatch wearable device as a way to gather a user's vital info and relay it to his or her iPhone. The data would then be fed into the Healthbook app for easy viewing. The combination of the iWatch and iOS 8 is expected to be able to monitor several pieces of fitness data, such as steps taken and heart rate. Apple is reportedly working to pack several sensors onto a single chipset for use with its iWatch device.

Wearable technology has been steadily growing in popularity as of late, and this year's CES brought with it a number of different gadgets for us to attach to various parts of our body. One of the major focuses in the wearable segment is fitness and health tracking, as evidenced by devices like the Nike Fuelband, Fitbit Force, Jawbone UP24 and LG LifeBand Touch.

With wearables and fitness tracking both gaining traction with consumers, it makes sense that Apple would want a slice of the action, and its upcoming releases of iOS 8 and the iWatch could give make for a nice one-two punch to the company's competition. Apple dipped its toes in the fitness tracking water with the inclusion of its M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5s, which can be used to track motion and steps taken.

Now it sounds like the Cupertino firm recognizes that wearables and fitness trackers are going to be a big market, and it wants in. Obviously the introduction of an iWatch and iOS 8 would make a pretty big splash in the wearables arena, and because Apple knows this and has presumably been working on its entry for a while, it'll be interesting to see exactly what it comes up with for its first foray into the wearables market.

Moving back to iOS 8, Apple is said to have selected "Okemo" as the codename for the next major update to its mobile operating system. Following the major UI overhaul that iOS 7 brought, it's expected that iOS 8 will focus more on several smaller improvements throughout the OS.

One feature that Apple is currently working on is its Maps app, with a focus on things like transit info and indoor mapping, both of which make sense considering some of the firm's recent acquisitions. However, it's said that those features aren't yet guaranteed to make the iOS 8 cut because their development isn't moving along as quickly as Tim Cook and Co. would like.

What do you make of today's leak? Are you interested in wearables and gadgets that track your health and fitness?

Via 9to5Mac

Products mentioned