If you are ready to get in shape, or want metrics on the workouts you're already doing, Apple's newest Health app built into the new iOS 8 is just what you need. This app paints a picture of your overall health, while getting into the gritty details of your exercise routines. Here are some of the highlights of this new app, along with its integration possibilities.
HealthKit suffered from a variety of bugs and hiccups when iOS 8 launched on September 17 but updates and App Store changes now have the app up and running. Apple's Health app assembles and displays data from a variety of health-monitoring sources.
So far, only a handful of apps with HealthKit updates have been added to the App Store. Some consumer favorites, such as UP by Jawbone and MyFitnessPal, have appeared in the App Store's special health section. Hopefully, fitness trackers like Strava and FitBit will be added to the mix soon.
This is potentially lifesaving. Users can opt to make information such as allergies, current medications and emergency contacts visible to paramedics or emergency room doctors from their lock screen. Emergency workers could quickly access your vital data. That information could prevent further injury while you are being treated.
Apple tries to give you a comprehensive view through the Health app of your caloric intake, heart rate and weight. The app will display metrics on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. That allows you to track trends and progress, allowing you to identify when you're slipping up and when you're making progress. You can pick and choose which metrics to show on your dashboard, allowing you to prioritize certain measurements while ignoring others.
If you can't wait for your favorite apps to be added to the mix, you can manually enter data points for the vast variety of metrics recorded by the Health app, including body measurements, fitness, nutrition, sleep and vital signs.
Finally, the Health app settings strive to be completely transparent when it comes to the metrics you'll be sharing between apps. For example, MyFitnessPal users might grow impatient checking off permission to share items like "iron," "fiber" and "monounsaturated fat" on their Health app settings but those itemized permissions keep your data access completely under your control.
While the launch of Health and HealthKit integration was characterized by a rocky start, these automated tracking apps can make it easier for iOS users to meet their fitness goals. If nothing else, these data points will help us become more aware of our bodies and our diets.
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