As we increasingly rely on our smartphones to provide us with entertainment, information and more, we've seen a rise in the popularity of using the devices to track our fitness and health. Earlier this year we heard that Apple may be planning to get in on the trend with a new "Healthbook" application for iOS, and today more details of that app have surfaced.
According to a report from 9to5Mac, the Healthbook app looks fairly similar to Apple's existing Passbook app. However, instead of storing the tickets for that movie that you're going to on Friday, Healthbook will house color-coded cards for things like weight, heart rate and nutrition. Recreated screenshots of the app are included at the top of this post.
There are a few different major categories of information that Apple is reportedly planning to use Healthbook to track. The first is fitness, which includes an activity tracker for things like steps taken and calories burned, a weight tracker and a nutrition tab that can help users keep track of what they eat.
Another category is health, which reportedly will feature details on a user's bloodwork and will also aid in tracking blood sugar levels. The third category is sleep, which likely track things like how much users toss and turn while in bed and when the best time for them to wake up is. It's also said that Healthbook could contain an emergency card with vital medical and contact information.
One thing that's still uncertain is how Healthbook will gather all of this information. A few possibilities include the iPhone 5s's M7 co-processor, third-party accessories and third-party apps, with the last one being similar to how Passbook collects its data. Apple's oft-rumored iWatch is another way that the Cupertino firm could get hold of health and fitness information.
So when might this big new Healthbook app actually make its debut? That much is still up in the air right now. It's said that Apple is testing the app with iOS 8, and we recently saw a Healthbook icon appear in a leaked iOS 8 screenshot. However, that doesn't guarantee that Healthbook will actually launch alongside iOS 8, if it ever launches at all.
As I mentioned before, the ability to track health and fitness data is becoming increasingly important in the mobile space thanks to smartphones becoming all-in-one devices and the rise in the popularity of wearable hardware. With the iPhone being one of the more popular smartphones on the market and a wearable device rumored to be in the works, it's no surprise to learn that Apple is eyeing the health market. What will be interesting is finding out how the Cupertino firm plans to gather this data. My guess would be a combination of third-party apps and a wearable device, but we'll have to wait until Tim Cook and Co. actually introduce us to Healthbook to find out for sure.
Now that more details of Healthbook have trickled out, what do you think of Apple's health-focused app? Are you interested in using your phone to track your health and fitness data?