It’s looking very likely that Apple will follow Samsung in putting a dedicated fitness app for smartphone users in its next major software update. Screenshots from a beta version of iOS 8 have revealed a new app called ‘Healthbook’ and it looks very interesting indeed.
We recently saw a couple of iPhone homescreen images which surfaced through Chinese social site Weibo, claiming to be from an early version of iOS 8. Nothing much looked different, although several apps had been added and Healthbook was one of them. Now, well-known iOS and Mac news site 9to5mac has got its hands on some screenshots of within that app.
Healthbook is very colourful and looks to be cram-packed with fitness and health-related tracking options and stats. Just like Passbook which was added in iOS 6, the app is designed around a system of colourful cards – sort of like a Filofax – hence the name. The app looks to offer everything from sleep tracking to blood pressure and we presume some of the features will work in co-ordination with Apple’s new M7 coprocessor and some will require third party accessories.
An interesting option is the Emergency Card, which allows the user to fill out their full contact details as well as any medication they are taking, emergency situation information and more. We can see this being very useful for diabetics and others who rely on medication, although Apple will need to think of a way to offer this information on a locked iPhone otherwise it will be pretty useless!
According to 9to5mac, the app can even track your blood sugar levels which could make an iPhone a vital purchase for a diabetic. There are already hundreds of third party apps which aim to do the same thing in the App Store, but if Apple can market it as a key feature then sales could rise further for the Cupertino company.
Each tab of Healthbook can offer charts and historically collated data, such as the weight tracker which charts your BMI, fat percentage and weight by day, month and year. ‘Activity’ will track your steps and therefore figure out how many calories you’re burning each day and charts it – we believe that the M7 chip in the iPhone 5S will provide this data, or alternatively those with older devices could potentially use a third party accessory such as the FitBit Flex.
It’s not yet clear exactly how Healthbook will get hold of the majority of information – especially your body fat and BMI – but we have a good feeling that Apple’s long-rumoured iWatch will have something to do with it.