Apple Watch

Understand how the iOS 8 Health app works

A few months ago, even before iOS 8 was released to everyone, we talked about the app Sade (Health), one of the new features of the new mobile operating system from Apple.

Today we have a huge amount of apps focused on health and fitness, of the most varied. Some serve "only" as a step counter; others, to monitor our sleep; It is also not difficult to find more complete apps which allow you to monitor more than one thing at the same time, such as steps, calorie burning, physical exercises, etc .; there are even those who work with accessories to provide us with data such as weight, body fat index, heart rate, blood pressure and so on.

Hardly just such an app satisfies the wishes of the user who likes and wants to monitor their health in a more complete way. The good part is that, as I said, there are several solutions available on the App Store; The bad thing is that you need to deal with different solutions (apps and services) in order to have this overview of your body.

The concept

The Sade app came to try to solve this problem. It alone does very little for what we tested here, alone, the iPhone is only able to count the steps (through the M7 / M8 coprocessor) and the stairs you climbed (with the barometer sensor of iPhones 6 and 6 Plus) .

But what comes with the legal part of Sade: there is a sea of ​​applications that help us to monitor our health and the physical activities performed. But instead of opening each of these apps you downloaded to access their data, why not centralize everything in one place? Voil!

Of course, for that, developers need to update their applications, making them compatible with Sade. But considering that Apple's solution does not threaten developers' business at all, on the contrary, in theory the application has arrived to add up, we can imagine that most offer this support. The concept behind Sade, then, is quite interesting and useful.

How it works in practice

The app itself divided into four parts: "Panel", "Health Data", "Sources" and "Medical Record".

IOS 8 App Sade (Health)

Click / tap to enlarge.

The “Medical Record” is nothing more than a place for you to put your most important information (some vital) in case you have an accident on the street or become unconscious and need medical attention. With everything duly completed, the option “* Medical ID” appears when someone taps “Emergency” (on the device's Locked Screen).

IOS 8 App Sade (Health)

However, even with the device locked, it is possible to call the emergency contact and find out your blood type, two very important data in the event of an accident or something like that. Of course, the person who is going to help someone else needs to know that this card exists, but Apple played the role of making everything available on the iPhone.

The "Sources" tab lists all the apps you have installed on the iPhone that provide or pull data from the Sade app. l that you authorize or not each of these apps is also possible to control this in Privacy Health Settings, but Apple thought it best to put that option inside the app as well to make things easier.

The "Health Data" tab lists * all * the information that can be monitored by the Health app. There are two ways for you to monitor these items: 1. through any application available on the App Store, or 2. by entering data manually.

When touching one of these data, we have four options available: “All Data” (where we see everything that has already been monitored since the item in question), “Add Data Point” (where we add information manually), “Share Data” (where we can also adjust the interaction of the Sade app with a given application) and “Show on Panel” (activating this option, the data in question appears on the “Panel” tab).

The "Panel", as you can imagine, where all the data highlighted by you are listed in the "Health Data" tab. You have the option of viewing the information by day, week, month or year.

How to deal with multiple sources of a given data

You can have multiple applications that monitor the same thing (for example, steps).

IOS 8 App Sade (Health)

To give priority to one of them, you must enter tap on the “Steps” panel and then choose the option “Share Data”. Note that there is an order in “Data Sources”. By tapping “Edit” (top right) you can reorder these sources, the first of which will be prioritized.

The problems

To begin with, Apple could already indicate some apps that support Sade as soon as the user opens the app for the first time. It does this, for example, in the Passbook, indicating applications that use the tool to store tickets, tickets, boarding / loyalty cards, coupons, etc.

But the thing is so strange that even for users who already have apps integrated with Sade, when you open the Apple app you don't see any information. It would be much more interesting if, when connecting a sleep monitoring app to Sade, for example, the system already had the option of highlighting this data in the "Dashboard" tab. But no, you are obliged to enter the “Health Data” and manually activate everything you want to see on the “Panel”.

An essential social vision for this ecosystem to function. Imagine that you are on that diet and managed to lose 10kg! Or that you prepared for a long time and managed to complete your first marathon. A lot of people love to share this type of "achievement", but for Sade it doesn't happen. For now, no sharing graphics or specific information on social networks, many may think that the option “Share Data” for this, but no.

The interaction with the app also leaves something to be desired. After monitoring some data for a certain period, all you have is a graph with enough information. Apple does not help us to interpret this in any way. It would be great, for example, if the user could inform what he wants to do in order to have a healthier life (lose 5kg in 2 months; take 10,000 steps a day; or sleep 8 hours a day) and the app of this type of suggestion so that the task could be carried out (avoid any type of food; walk 30 minutes a day; go to bed earlier). But no, all you have is a graph without any kind of interaction and motivation.

IOS 8 App Sade (Health)

App Sade (left) and UP (right).

In addition, there are flaws. I, for example, wear the UP bracelet and monitor my sleep for it. Still, the data captured by the official Jawbone app does not go to the “Sleep Analysis” panel at all. It could be an Apple API problem, it could be a problem with the implementation of the UP app, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the data does not go to Health, even though everything is properly connected.

Browsing through the hundreds of options that are available in “Health Data” is also quite annoying. There is clearly a design problem here. I don't know how Apple can and will fix it. But the truth is that the design chosen for the app does not play in favor.

Health-Compatible Apps

There are already a good number of apps compatible with Sade, check out:

Fitbit Coach app icon

Strava app icon - Run and pedal

Lark Health app icon

Sorry, app not found.

Sorry, app not found.

Sorry, app not found.

FitPort app icon

Sorry, app not found.

Sleepio app icon

Sorry, app not found.

Fitnet Workout Videos app icon

Sorry, app not found.

Argus app icon: Pedometer, Weight Loss

CARROT Fit app icon

Garmin Connect ™ app icon

Endomondo Sports Tracker app icon

Zova app icon: # 1 Watch Workout App

Sorry, app not found.

Omvana - Get In Flow app icon

Sorry, app not found.

Sorry, app not found.

PEAR - Personal Fitness Coach app icon

7 Minute Workout app icon

MyFitnessPal app icon

Yummly Recipes + Shopping List app icon

Noom app icon

Lifesum app icon: eat right on your diet

RecStyle app icon

My Macros + app icon | Diet & Calories

Heart health Qardio app icon

WebMD app icon: Check Your Symptoms

Sorry, app not found.

Sorry, app not found.

HealthyNow app icon

Sorry, app not found.


Apple Watch

I believe that, with the arrival of the Apple Watch, a lot of things will change in the Health app or at least it should, since this would be the natural place for us to view the health and fitness information captured by the watch. If Apple uses another solution, another place to view everything about the watch

But regardless of the Watch's arrival, Sade needs to have a life of its own and become something more than a “simple” central hub for this type of information.

As I said, I need more interaction. The app needs to become more than just a graph generator. Of course, there are limits to today's technology, yet it is not possible to predict when a user will have a heart attack (based on dietary data, heart rate, etc.). But it is already possible to easily see small problems that can be corrected with a simple change of routine. And that kind of thing we need.