During their annual keynote at the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled the new and exciting updates we can anticipate with the launch of iOS 13 in September. Overall, it seems Apple doubled down on giving this OS a complete overhaul with respect to new features, apps, and operating efficiency, the Health app and Apple Watch OS included. Here’s the rundown:
Revamped Health App for iPhone
The iOS 13 Health app is downgrading the four tabs it originally featured (“Today” calendar, “Health Data,” “Sources,” and “Medical ID”) to two: “Summary” and “Browse.” The Summary tab is a dashboard displaying all of your different health metrics. How fleshed out this dashboard will appear will depend on how many health gadgets you own and how you utilize them. As an example, Apple Watch users will be able to view data like activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, stand hours, stand minutes, steps, and more. Other devices and apps, like the Beddit sleep monitor, smart scales, blood pressure monitors, and anything else that connects to the app will live here in this more simplistic and easy to navigate version of the Health app.
In the Browse tab, you can view a breakdown of all health-related categories to locate health information and medical records.
Other new additions include viewing exercise data organized by day, week, month, or year, a menstrual cycle, and fertility tracker.
Apple has also facilitated healthier tooth brushing habits with the new iOS update. With a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that’s iPhone compatible, you can monitor your brushing time at a glance. The Toothbrushing category tracks brushing time per day, week, month, and year. Don’t have one of those fancy Bluetooth brushes? No problem. You can also input manual data after every brush.
iOS 13 is also looking out for your eardrums by introducing the ability to keep track of whether you may be listening to your favorite tunes too loudly. Apple in iOS 13 monitors the sound level around you through a Bluetooth connected Series 4 Apple Watch or through linked earbuds including EarPods, AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, among other compatible options. Your hearing health trends will be broken down by day, week, month, and year. The app displays whether your audio exposure was “OK” or “loud” throughout these time periods. The OS defines “OK” by sound waves below 80 decibels and anything above 80 decibels is classified as “loud.”
Revamped Activity App for Apple Watch
The Activity App exclusive to the Apple Watch features a new “Trends” tab devised to ensure you remain on track to your fitness goals from month to month. This tab displays some of the most common activity metrics, each with its own corresponding color, coupled with an arrow pointing up or down. There are no additional frills, bells or whistles in this tab. It’s an incredibly simple and straightforward display, and that’s exactly what Apple is aiming for.
But what do those up and down arrows actually signify? Your iPhone analyzes the last 90 days of any given activity and compares it to the last year of activity. If the most recent 90 days average more than the average of the past year, the arrow points up. If it’s less, the arrow points down. Trends covers “Move” (calories via active movement per day), “Exercise minutes,” “Stand hours,” “Distance walked,” and more, depending on which activities you participate in. Apple offers supportive notes for positive trends, or personalized improvement tips if trends are down.
Wearable fitness and health tracking devices are influencing the consumer tech market. It’s clear Apple wants a nice slice of the pie. Moving forward, we will see more ambitious and aggressive innovations with respect to Apple Health and the Apple Watch.
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