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iOS 8 to focus on health and fitness with HealthBook app

Apple’s next mobile OS, iOS 8, could focus on healthcare and fitness tracking, featuring a new HealthBook app.

According “sources briefed on the plans”, when iOS 8 is released later this year it will have a strong focus on mobile healthcare and fitness tracking. This is to tie-in with the launch of the Apple Watch, which the sources suggest is “well into development.”

A new report from 9to5mac suggests health will be the main iOS 8 focus and will come complete with a new fitness app called HealthBook.

The app will be able to monitor and store your fitness data, including calories burnt, steps taken and miles walked, similar to the functionality of the various fitness bands on offer like Misfit Shine and the Nike FuelBand SE.

Coming pre-installed with future Apple smartphones like the iPhone 6, HealthBook will also somehow be able to manage your weight loss.

The sources also suggest that the HealthBook app will go beyond fitness tracking and actually be able to monitor your vital signs, including blood pressure, hydration levels and heart rate among other data.

HealthBook will also work with the Reminders application to alert you when you need to take your medication at a scheduled time.

The iOS 8 healthcare app will be presented in a similar fashion to the Passbook app, which stores loyalty cards and other documents like boarding cards.

The healthcare focus of iOS 8 will no doubt build upon the M7 co-processor hardware introduced with the iPhone 5S, which Apple particularly highlighted would enable “a new generation of health and fitness apps” due to its motion tracking abilities.

Expect the iOS 8 operating software to launch alongside the heavily rumoured Apple iWatch, which is tipped to be released the iPhone 6 in Q4 2014.

Outside the healthcare features, the sources say iOS 8 will not introduce major design changes aside form minor adjustments and enhancements.

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