How to integrate Apple's HealthKit
As seen in the number of movement tracking devices around people's wrists, fitness is big these days. It's also big business, with big companies making big investments in the space. One of those companies is Apple, whose HealthKit received a significant amount of attention at WWDC. To take on the increasingly crowded space--comprising health apps such as RunKeeper, Nike+ and tracking gadgets such as Fitbit, all vying for mind and market space through development SDKs and gadgets for the consumers--Apple has released the HealthKit SDK. This platform will give developers the ability to integrate and centralize their existing health-focused app data--from running and cycling stats to food and medicine consumption, and much more.
Of course, the HealthKit SDK is not the only thing Apple has rolled out recently, and its new hardware and software offerings all have a health angle. Its new line of iPhones, for example, have a dedicated CPU capable of tracking steps efficiently, and the Apple Watch, slated for release in early 2015, is all about health, designed to, among other things, read users' heartbeat intervals through wrist-facing sensors.
It's going to be a competitive space, to say the least, with none other than Google also releasing a health SDK and its own line of wearables.
What are the benefits of HealthKit?
HealthKit offers a number of important benefits. Users get a centralized dashboard--gorgeous and customizable--containing all their health data. Importantly, the data can be aggregated from many different health apps, which means users don't have to use on app for tracking nutrition, one for tracking exercise, one for tracking heart rate, and so on. All of their measurements can be aggregated in and accessed from one place.
Developers, likewise, benefit from this centralization: They can focus on a core health feature, and have it included in the centralized Apple Health dashboard and shared with other apps.
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