8 July 20149to5Mac:
Apple has made significant enhancements to its upcoming Health application for iOS 8 in the latest beta of the new iPhone operating system. Most notably, the Health application can now utilize the iPhone’s own M7 motion tracking hardware for data sourcing.
The Health app’s Steps counter tab can now report steps without connecting to any third party applications or hardware devices. Because this feature likely uses the M7 processor, an iPhone 5s is required to get the steps data directly from the device.
Although this helps to justify the app’s permanent existence on the Home Screen, rather than a deletable option, Health still remains an obtuse mess. Everything isn’t very human. It’s confusingly technical.
You click on the Steps chart, for example, and it takes you to a table view of individual step entries. What is this purpose of this screen for end-users? Users can’t parse that list into anything meaningful.
Moreover, every nutrition category has an ‘Add Data Point’ option. This is equally stupid. People don’t know this information. Humans need sensors to tell this information. Having a manual input option is useless and only encourages cheating: I can tell Health.app that I walked a billion steps and it doesn’t complain. In fact, even the label of the option (“data point”) is uninviting and unnecessarily technical.
Right now, Health.app feels like a backend portal for iWatch debugging rather than the consumer-facing fitness and wellbeing dashboard it should be.