Apple's long-rumored iWatch will dig deeper into your health than any other wearable on the market if reports about its Healthbook app prove true. The app, which is expected to anchor iOS 8 and Apple's first wrist computer, will combine the greatest hits of other wearables--vital stats, activity, and sleep--in one centralized spot so you never have to leave Apple's ecosystem.
Details of Healthbook's capabilities and Passbook-like design come courtesy of 9to5Mac blogger Mark Gurman, who has a knack for hitting the mark--or close to it--when it comes to Apple rumors. Gurman recreated screenshots of the app, which organizes data points into multi-colored cards that resemble your Passbook wallet. Instead of boarding passes and gift cards, Healthbook stores your health and fitness data. Each statistic is given its own card and color.
Gurman has leaked details of Healthbook in the past, and beyond the screenshots--which, again, were recreated and not images leaked directly from Gurman's sources--there's more information about what data points Healthbook will be able to track. So far, it looks like bloodwork, hydration levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, fitness, weight, and food intake are in the works.
What we don't know: How will it work? The M7 chip in new Apple devices can easily help track your activity, but when it comes to bloodwork, Apple will need to have companion devices ready to ship--which could be why Healthbook and the iWatch are taking so long to come to market. As 9to5Mac notes, a centralized place where you can store all of your health data will make such blood-testing easier for people with diseases like diabetes, and also easier for athletes who need to track hydration and respiratory rates.
For the rest of us, Healthbook sounds like it will go far beyond what other apps and activity trackers currently offer, and could encourage iOS users to live healthier lives. Healthbook is rumored to also include an Emergency Card with important information for hospitals. If you're in an accident and can't offer your own critical data, like medications you take or your blood type, the Emergency Card will store those details.
As far as when we'll see Healthbook in action, 9to5Mac had little information to offer: "Apple is said to currently be testing the Healthbook software with iOS 8, the next version of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system," Gurman wrote. "However, it is possible that the application's launch could be pushed back to a future operating system version or cancelled entirely."
Hopefully that's not the case, because Healthbook sounds like it could push wearable devices from weirdly niche into mainstream, simply by offering real value we haven't seen yet.
Primary image of an iWatch concept courtesy blogger Todd Hamilton.