iOS 8 codenamed Okemo, may include HealthBook, focus on fitness, tie iPhone 6 to iWatch

iOS 8 codenamed Okemo, may include HealthBook, focus on fitness, tie iiPhone 6 to iWatch

iOS 8, which should be shown off this summer and ship later this fall, is codenamed Okemo, and one of the tentpole features could be HealthBook, a new app that will monitor your fitness activity and health information from the iPhone 6 and iWatch as centrally and easily as Passbook currently collects your tickets and cards. Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac:

The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. Furthermore, the app will have the ability to manage and track weight loss. [...] The application will be able to track a person’s blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources.

On the list of things Apple's unique approach to problem solving could benefit most, health sits near the top. Slowly, inexorably, they've been putting all the pieces together. All that remains to be seen is if it's ready for primetime this year. Of course, this would put iOS into direct competition with all the fitness apps in App Store, including Nike's, which counts Tim Cook as a board member. It's possible other apps will be allowed access to the same sensor information, and could potentially offer features outside Apple's focus, but Apple is going to enjoy the first, best level of integration on the devices. And that's a huge advantage, especially for the mainstream Apple targets.

Go read the rest of Gurman's report, then come back and let me know what you think. Big screen aside, is health and fitness the silver bullet you'd need to put the iPhone 6 and iWatch on the top of your most wanted tech list?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iOS 8 codenamed Okemo, may include HealthBook, focus on fitness, tie iPhone 6 to iWatch

53 Comments

That what was said about the iPhone and iPad. Never say never :)

My understanding is that it's actively being worked on at Apple.

Funny you say. That i was the opposite with the, iphone. i was early on in the napster world and all i was thinking was they need a hard drive machine to store all my songs. Then a soon as the ipod came out i thought. Truth is they should make a phone and a camera and have a killer device. Everyone was saying the same thing on the net back in the day so when the iphone hit, my thought was "it's about time. This has been a no brainer for a few years. What took so long." Now the ipad. I was with you. Didn't see it. I'll be honest unless an "iWatch" is made and looks like a Cartier, IWC, Rolex, Montblanc, Piaget etc, i'd never wear it. The tech watch look doesn't appeal to me. I wear a watch solely for style reasons. The one place i can see it being useful is in the context of working out, like gps tracking, heart rate, monitoring etc, Basically like high end sports watches. But then again i buying one of those isn't gonna happen from me. I'm not saying it won't happen or that people won't buy it. Speaking solely for myself, the ideas and rumors i've seen thrown out so far haven't peaked my interest in an iwatch.

From a health monitoring perspective, I think the iWatch must be considered the key for all of this to come together. I don't think Apple would just make a 'me too' device like a watch - albeit a smart watch - because most people don't want another watch, even if it does relieve you of pulling your phone out of your pocket to check messages etc. What's the benefit? So the watch must the the secret sauce. Strapped onto your wrist, with the blah blah sensors looking at your arteries to report all sorts of cool biometrics, it suddenly becomes the killer feature that encourages more people to want/need a 'watch'. I can imagine iBeacons near the chocolate bars - No! Don't eat that!

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I would say for me personally I'm more concern about the iPhone 6 & iOS 8 thats on the Top of my list for right now

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Definitely want more battery life instead of more features right now. I don't really care for a bigger screen but it's inevitable when you have to put in a larger battery.

So they are going to do the same thing as Samsung did and limit iWatch functionality to new devices only? I thought it of Samsung, and will think it if true of Apple. This is incredibly short sighted.

Now, if certain features of the iWatch will be compatible with the iPhone 6 only, that I can see and understand.

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Well, that teaches me to comment without reading the original/source. Didn't notice any mention of iPhone 6, but rather the "sensor laden" iWatch. Which makes sense.

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I wouldn't be surprised if any new products works best with other new products, but also have some functionality with older ones, less with really old ones (based simply on capability.)

You're probably right about the BT 4.0 but I would suspect that the watch/device itself would have the motion processor to go with the sensors and the phone/pad would just have to collect the data from it.

Personally I don't see this being "big news". Although healthier options are becoming the thing for Americans, I just don't see this sort of integration really being a big deal for the average consumer. I do think their are users out there who will love this and actively use it, but the average Joe.. I just don't see it.

I do think it's kind of cool however. But maybe that's because it's tied to this apparent iWatch. I think that's what will make it enticing but even then... I don't know. Someone see themselves integrating this into their daily lives?

Biggest thing I'm excited for is iOS 8 and the physical features of the iPhone 6! :-p

Hopefully iOS 8 shows more functionality and performance improvements than just adding a health feature. iOS 7 was a great start and I'd hate to see it lose momentum.

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Looks like the M7 was just the beginning of a chipset revolution. Coupled with the potential uses Touch ID presents, it looks like Apple is poised to change the focus of the smartphone spec wars away from screen size and resolution.

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Health is important to me but I would rather see improved battery life and better integration between apps.

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Although I'm not as excited for these health/fitness functionalities as I do for the possibility of a larger iPhone and a more developed iOS, I still think this is a great move for Apple and I know a lot will benefit from these functionalities.
I also liked how confident Cook was about what their next step will be for sensors. Heck, maybe Apple will finally be the one to bring these functionalities closer to the mainstream.

Yeah, I'm particularly excited by sensors, because they silently do their job in the background and somehow enhance our lives, reporting what we need to know. More and more the 'smart' in smart phone becomes smarter, analysing our sleep patterns, food habits, and, if we want, making suggestions. Sensors in the toilet communicate what comes out of our body, because, as we know, 'everything comes down to poo', and suddenly our anxiety levels will either go up or down. But we will know that, because the sensors will report it, play some soothing music and massage our wrist (dependent upon the actual wearables we own). We also know it is inevitable. Someone just needs to put the pieces together and make it easily accessible.

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If I think about all of the people that I know who own iPhones, I see an incredibly small portion of them being interested in a health orientated watch regardless of whether it syncs to the phone or what it measures.

Then there are the people who already own a decent watch, myself included. I wouldn't want to buy a smart watch which, in order for it to provide accurate results would presumably have to be worn as frequently as possible, rendering other owned watches useless.

I think their best bet would be to avoid the whole watch bracket it has somehow ended up in and use their expertise with miniaturisation and sensors to build a simple, screenless and most importantly small (metallic?) wristband that can be worn alongside a watch, measuring and recording what it needs to, without duplicating functionality. It could incorporate some small lights to alert you to things (battery levels, unusual readings) which could also appear on your phone (notifications/in app) and maybe a vibration motor. That would also allow the product to have a far better battery life and also a smaller battery leading to a smaller size and shorter recharge time. Also this could be produced and sold cheaper than some form of watch combo.

Just my opinion but I think that would be the better route to take based on myself and the iPhone users that I know.

I am willing to bet that MANY many people will see the iWatch (and of course the aftermarket iWatch accessories) as extremely worthy of replacing their current Timex or Casio, though probably not a watch that costs more than a Fabergé egg (for reasons of pride and expense justification more than actual fashion sense or practicality, I'll bet). I haven't been waiting for an iWatch any more than I was waiting for an iPad, but once it was born and it improved over time the iPad became everywhere; I'm quite certain the same will be true for the iWatch. Maybe not the first generation though early adopters will go googoo over it, but in five years you won't be able to walk down a city street without seeing them EVERYWHERE. I can't wait. If it works with the 5S I will probably get one as soon as it breaks through the placenta. :)

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I probably should have been clearer in my first comment.

Most of the iPhone users I know simply aren't interested enough in monitoring their health as to want one of these.

I can't imagine that the price will be low enough to draw those that are on the fence into buying one on the off chance that it will be something they will like or want.

There is obviously a decent market of those who are interested enough in their health but I wouldn't have thought it was big enough to warrant Apple into spending the R&D and production costs.

That said, people can speculate all they want but nobody will know for sure until it's announced.

I'm sure whatever new product(s) they release this year will be successful but I would be surprised if it is a "Smart Watch". A minimalistic sensor laden wristband would be my guess if they are doing anything for a wrist but who knows!

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You have see the 50 million or so fitness trackers out there now, right? So someone (many someones) thinks people are interested.

With a good enough price, and Apple secret sauce, I think it could be a big hit. Through in a little bit of notifications from your iPhone and it could be a blockbuster.

Oh and I do own an expensive watch which I wear daily not to justify thee expense but because it's a very good quality timepiece and well crafted and in the time I have owned it, now has sentimental value :)

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If it were a wristband (or an option to have all the sensors without the 'watch' element), and assuming it had a killer feature set, would you wear it on your other wrist? Personally, I think I would consider that more convenient.

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I would be more likely to get one if it was a wristband over a watch type device yes.

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for me a watch is there for style. It's a fashion accessory. Like a dress watch you wear with a suit. Any watch that looks like a casio or something more tech or digital (like a sports watch) isn't fashionable and i wouldn't wear with any frequency and especially not with most of my clothes. I don't think it would be my thing. Maybe if it was cheap and a sports watch i could use it for jogging but i wouldn't suspect it would be cheap. I don't think i'd ever wear two devices. I personally don't even wear one most of the time.

Oh no they copying s health lol kidding but you know if s health came out after a apple health product we would be hearing copycat.

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(Note: This post duplicates one I just left on the discussions thread about the iWatch)

I have long believed mobile devices should address two major purposes: to serve;and to protect.

Existing smartphones and tablets serve well. They meet entertainment, knowledge, productivity and even some health service needs well.

But they are lousy at protecting, and I think this is what Apple intends to fix with what I have notionally called the "iWatch Guardian".

I expect an iWatch able to provide basic protection on its own. Pairing it with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad would add bonus features to the essentials covered by the watch.

The iWatch Guardian would have both WiFi and cellular connectivity, enabling constant Siri connection.

What would it do? Well, just one example, impacts.

The Guardian would know your vital particulars, and use them to look after your interests. If the watch recorded an impact to your body, for example, it would know that at age 30 you would likely shrug that level of impact off, but at 80 years, it might be life-threatening, and act accordingly. It could just ask the 30-year-old if he was OK, but take action calling 911 if an 80-year-old didn't reply right away to a similar query. As the A7 chip does now, it would know if you are walking, in a car, or on public transport. It would know and be able to report a bike or car accident, including location and the response it was getting from you. Your medical information, stored in the same secure A7 compartment that has fingerprint data, could be shared with properly-identified first responders.

Sensors in the Guardian could perform a variety of tasks: verification of pacemaker performance; glucose or heart-rate monitoring; the taking of medications, etc.

The tasks that could be performed by an iWatch Guardian are almost unlimited, once you begin to think guardianship. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Why not. Dermal sensors to warn of fever? Sure.

Why a watch for this? Because you strap it on and it is always on your body, unlike the iPhone, which often is away from your body.

Paired with another iDevice, the iWatch Guardian could conduct more sophisticated compilation and presentation of information than would be possible on the watch alone.

That's my start on where I think Apple may be headed.

It sounds great but if they proprietary lock down acess, hello Siri, it'll keep falling behind the curve based on Apple's goals/plans and where on that list it fits.

I hope it is true though. The hydration, etc parts are intriguing. Step counting is useless to me but a true activity monitor with the extra bells wrapped in a high quality package (I'd expect nothing less from them) would be appealing.

Biggest problem for me: won't work with non-iOS and I'm now downgrading my tech experience by switching back to iOS. :-)

I would fully expect to see more than just health related functionality. I would love to also see this thing integrated with iBeacons. Driving on the toll road? Hit the express lane and glance at your watch to see the charge go through. Dining at your favorite restaurant? Your watch just calculated the bill split and tip for everyone and paid your share with your standard tip percentage. Since it knows the calorie count of the taco salad you just ate it adds 40m of walking to your evening schedule and Siri calls your wife to tattle on you...

This is all very cool but I hope there's more to iOS 8 than this. I want to see touch id on iPads, and 3rd party app integration. I'd love to see user accounts on the iPad controlled by touch id. Improvements to notification center and actionable notifications. My hope is Apple has separate engineers working on this health related stuff and the core software/human interface folks are working on iOS 8.

As cool as all of this is, we all know the media and public will be focused on two things: what iOS 8 and the new iPhones look like.

This should be low on the list of things that need sorting out on iOS. Default apps, a sharing menu that can compete with android, better notifications are all much more important than this health stuff which at best is niche and at worse a samsung level of gimmickry

ZOMG APPLE WANTS TO AGGREGATE OUR HEALTH INFORMATION! EVIL!!

/sarcasm

I do think this could be pretty cool. As an owner of a FitBit, I would like something more integrated.

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more junk i will never use. apple needs to focus on more important things. if america wasn't full of fat asses we wouldn't be inundated with all this health and fitness stuff

i don't know, family, friends, your job, money, lots of other things. life is too short to be counting calories all the time and being a slave to the gym. all this health BS is just a fad right now and its made to scare people into buying those types of goods and services. underneath all that it's all about making money. they could probably care less about the actual well-being of the consumer.

I think with all this health bull****, it's a passing phase and to make people paranoid about fitness is the wrong approach to mental health. If your head is constantly thinking about your weight and stupid steps taken how many miles you've walk who gives a sh**. All I want to know is I'm breathing I'm eating healthy and working out an hour a day will keep me fit, what happened to the days of a doctor check up every six months and a clock. Common people you are all week if you need to re-assure yourselves with all this technological jargon, it's like the Nintendo Wii !! "novelty" give the companies what they want! Your money for stupid gadgets!. Remember Novelties wear off?, and it's back to square one for the laymen.

I'm not that interested in wearables as they are now. When I'm able to slap a fully fledged phone on my wrist...then I'll lay my money on the table.

With regards to health and fitness, all people need to do is cut ALL the crappy food your body doesn't need out of your diet.

Eat the food that's GOOD for you and....

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All I have to say is for a watch to be something comparable to the iPhone or iPad. It needs a reason for people to put it on. Once you put it on another reason never to take it off. All smart watch players are coming into a world where the majority of people don't wear watches anymore. If you wear a watch try taking it off for a week. The feeling of freedom makes putting the watch back on something that doesn't seem necessary especially when it's only function is to tell time. A while back the scenario would have been different most people wore watches and so having a watch that was able to do more than just tell the time would be worth it. If the watch does something that takes away the need for it to be done on the phone or iPad increasing battery life that is a reason right there. What is the thing you hear most smartphone and tablet users complaining about? battery life. it's the reason mophie juice packs and all the other portable chargers exists. So if with an iWatch I go from charging my iPhone once a day to once every 2 or 3 days. It's a reason to both spend more than $100 and to wear it. When the iPhone was announced lots of people had feature phones so the transition was inevitable. When the iPad was announced the benefits were clear at the very least email and internet anywhere on a screen bigger than our smartphone. The iWatch at least for me I just can't come up with what is the killer feature that makes it more than a want but a need?

I think the iWatch will come out running like a bunny with the first go around and knock people's socks off like the first iPhone and the first iPad did. And I'll admit I immediately felt the urge to have the first iPhone as soon as I held it, though I wasn't instantly convinced with the first iPad. After several generations however, both the iPhone and the iPad are ubiquitous along with their many copycat devices. After a couple of iterations, I think the same will be true for the iWatch (or whatever Apple decides to call it) and it's many copycat devices. And yes we have the Samsung and Pebble smartwatches, but the new Apple device will compete in a new way. Health being the tip of the iceberg albeit a very pointy tip with lasers coming out of it.

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Yes, please, to an iWatch or other wearable that can track my glucose levels with heart rate and blood pressure. Even if I have to manually send it to my doctor rather than just give my doctor access to it.

Apple won't necessarily compete with Nike, etc. with Healthbook. Right now, third-party apps interact with Passbook by putting there info into the app. health book could very likely work the same way, by aggregating your vital statistics. Would be nice, too, because I have several apps that only keep track of some of the things I want to- none keep track of everything I want to...