It didn’t get quite as much panache as the VR headset, or as much interest as the planned iPhone updates, but there was another announcement at Apple’s WWDC event this year that demonstrated the company’s ever-deepening reach into the market. Wellness: The Health app is coming to the iPad this fall.
Apple has subtly built a health tracking empire for Apple Watches and iPhones: most recently, it’s added features aimed at vision and mental health. But for Deidre Caldbeck, director of product marketing for Apple Watch and Health, the arrival of the Health app on a bigger screen represents how health information is becoming more user-friendly and what the company is reaching in terms of future health and fitness apps.
“We think this will give you new ways to see your health and fitness data,” Caldbeck told CNET. “And perhaps more importantly, it opens up new opportunities for developers to create health and fitness experiences with iPad apps.”
Since it came out in 2014, the Health app has been a treasure trove of information gleaned from the iPhone itself, as well as the Apple Watch and third-party apps that can sync with the iPhone app, thanks to HealthKit. Apple’s framework for developers. Metrics like the quality of your sleep, how fast you walk, heart rate and more are available on the heart icon on your phone.
But you might wonder what moving the same app to another, bigger device will do. In addition to further opening the door for app developers to build iPad-specific apps and a bigger screen, the iPad Health app reflects a growing interest in wellness, how much space it takes up in our lives and on our screens, and how more and more want to share our health bulletins with other people.
Here’s what your health information might look like on the iPad, and what a bigger screen could mean for app developers.
Bigger display and new opportunities for apps
The Health app on iPad will have a split-screen view, which means you’ll be able to switch between your health information and another app or page, something Caldbeck says could be especially useful for people using health apps. sharing functionality in health apps, such as caregivers of other adults or patients at doctor’s appointments.
Apple also hopes that iPad-only accessories, like the keyboard and pencil, will spark some creative ideas in developers about how to build new health and fitness apps using HealthKit. There are already “tens of thousands” of apps on the app store using the HealthKit API, Caldbeck said. But this new format for health information could involve more developers and apps, as well as apps that will be ported to the iPad.
To know more: Apple introduces iPadOS 17 at WWDC 2023
Rise, a sleep tracking app, is an app that moves to the iPad: a special call was given during WWDC this year. According to Jeff Kahn, co-founder and CEO of Rise, the beauty of HealthKit in general is that it makes the world of health tracking a little smoother for consumers who don’t necessarily want to wear a watch or buy an additional device: they just want health information from the apps you choose.
“They don’t want the hardware, so the fact that HealthKit exists allows us to enter all the data in the background,” Kahn explained. He added that having a more centralized framework benefits developers, and it’s an advantage Apple initially had over different Android integrations, although “it’s getting better.”
Using the iPad for sleep and mental health
Kahn said it “makes sense” that Apple is moving to the iPad as the next step in expanding its health features, given the health-monitoring mission Apple has embarked on. But it also combines two growing truths in Kahn’s eyes: People are looking to cut back on their phone time before bed to improve sleep and health, and many people may be using their iPads to watch Netflix or wind down before bed. in bed instead of the phone.
“There are a lot of people who a) don’t bring their phones into their room or b) maybe they do, but that iPad is that bedside entertainment device,” Kahn said.
To know more: Apple research app: How to participate in an Apple health study
The iPad may also be better positioned to offer other wellness features that Apple announced for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, this year’s iPhone software update and its iPad counterpart, including mood and mental health and screen distance, which uses the TrueDepth FaceTime camera to encourage people to move their faces away from the screen.
It’s also possible that a shift to the iPad as an accessible wellness device could be one way Apple could close the gap it has with other sleep insight companies, such as Oura, which offers more detailed sleep metrics than the rest. ‘Apple Watch. Apple could keep its streamlined approach to health information, introducing more detailed tracking capabilities (for people who want them) through its third-party partnerships.
The future of the Health app
In terms of data sharing notifications, the experience should be similar on the iPad as it is on your iPhone, according to Caldbeck.
“After you unlock the iPad and open the Health app for the first time, you’ll actually be asked to choose whether you want to sync your health data to that device,” he said, adding that everything is still encrypted except the health information. medical identification, and that you will receive an alert on your iPhone the first time the Health app syncs.
As Apple continues to ride the wave of wellbeing with new features for Apple Watch and narrows down on specific spots within the extremely broad topic that is “health,” we can expect the Health app to continue to expand as well, whether does that mean a new Fitness app for iPad, a better way to measure sleep through more app integrations, or a whole new metric in Health becoming available, in general.
“The goal hasn’t really changed since 2014,” Caldbeck said. “It’s really to provide you with insights that can hopefully break down the barriers between you and your health information.”
To know more: Fitness trackers are getting more personal and powerful
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