The latest iOS 8 beta update gets serious about health

Healthkit from Apple at WWDC 2014

Above: Healthkit from Apple at WWDC 2014

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi
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Apple’s getting serious about health, and the latest update to iOS 8’s developer beta is beefing up its health-related capabilities.

Apple released iOS 8 beta 5 today, and among the many updates, it slipped in support for spirometry data, which is a test that helps with the diagnosis of certain lung conditions by measuring the amount or speed of air a person a person inhales or exhales. (This comes alongside casual consumer capabilities, such as fitness tracking.)

This addition could be a hint that Apple expects more serious health devices to integrate with its HealthKit beyond casual health and fitness devices like pedometers. It might even include support for some clinical-level tools.

Here are the other major health-related updates in the new beta version of iOS 8:

  • New icons for Body Data and Data Exporting
  • New Health panel in the Privacy settings
  • Option to display the medical ID on the lockscreen
  • The HKWorkout API is now available to store workouts

Other new things in this update:

  • The phone will prompt you to allow other devices, such as a MacBook, to access SMS messages through Relay
  • iCloud has a new set of icons
  • New Wi-Fi calling indicator for T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling
  • Can now toggle on and off from the predictive text function in the messaging app
  • Photos: “Last updated” notification for synching to iCloud, option to store full-resolution images in iCloud and optimized versions on the device

One more beta update is expected before Apple releases the full OS.

(h/t to 9to5Mac, Appadvice, BGR, MacRumors)


More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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