The Health app for iPhone lets you compile data from many of your most-used health apps so that you have a single view all of your health info, be it miles cycled, hours slept, or flights of stairs climbed. What’s more, depending on your privacy settings, you can sync from Health to any other app, and back, so everything stays up to date and you stay on top of your fitness and medical data!

  • How to navigate the Dashboard
  • How to show health data on the Dashboard
  • How to discover health apps
  • How to enable the viewing of your Medical ID in an emergency
  • How to view your Medical ID in an emergency

Contents

How to navigate the Dashboard

Health comes built into the iPhone operating system, so there’s no separate app to download and install. All you have to do is launch it and get started.

  1. Launch the Health app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the Dashboard button — it looks like a graph.
  3. Tap the time period of your choice to see information for that period:

    • Day
    • Week
    • Month
    • Year

  4. Swipe up and down to view your health categories.
  5. Tap a health category to see more information.

How to show health data on the Dashboard

  1. Launch the Health app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Health Data at the bottom of the screen — it appears as a folder emblazoned with a heart.
  3. Tap the category you’d like to display on the Dashboard. In this example we chose Active Energy.
  4. Toggle the Show on Dashboard switch to on. Active Energy will now show on the Dashboard.

How to discover health apps

  1. Launch the Health app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Health Data at the bottom of the screen — it appears as a folder emblazoned with a heart.
  3. Tap All.

  4. Tap a category. For this example we chose Active Energy.
  5. Swipe up to find suggested apps for tracking this category.
  6. Tap the desired app to open in the App Store and download.

How to enable the viewing of your Medical ID in an emergency

  1. Launch the Health app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Medical ID.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Toggle the Show When Locked switch to on.

How to use your iPhone as a pedometer

Some of you may know that I am the creator and sole member of what I call the 10,000 steps a day challenge, a self-imposed goal of walking at least 10,000 steps per day. I started with a goal of 6,000 steps per day back in 2015, and increased that goal by 1,000 every new year, a goal I reach every single day, no matter how busy my schedule may be, no matter what the weather is like outside, and no matter my health condition.

When I talk to people about the 10,000 steps a day challenge, a question that often comes up is how I track the amount of steps I take. Surprisingly, most people don’t know this is something newer iPhones can do straight out of the box.

iDB readers are probably aware of that feature, but for those that might not be, or those who want to share the existence of this feature with friends and family, we will go over this today as I talk about how you can use an iPhone as a pedometer.

The chip that makes it all possible

Introduced as part of a new feature of the iPhone 5s in 2013, the M-series motion coprocessor is a tiny chip found in all newer iPhones and iPads that collects sensor data from the accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses found on your iPhone or iPad to detect and measure motion, among other possible usage. This allows your iPhone to know if you’re walking, running, or driving, for example. In our specific case, it can efficiently and precisely measure how many steps you are taking.

The best part of the motion coprocessor is that it can collect data without having a meaningful impact on your battery usage. As a matter of fact, if your iPhone runs out of battery, or if you manually shut it down, the motion coprocessor will keep collecting data and offload that data once the device is powered back on.

Of course, you can choose to not have your iPhone track your motion. This is something that can easily be disabled by going to Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness, then turn off the Fitness Tracking toggle.

Using an iPhone as a pedometer

The good news is, if you’re using an iPhone 5s or newer, you do have that tiny chip embedded in your device, and you pretty much have nothing to do but start walking or running to effectively use your iPhone as a step counter. The trick here is not to have your iPhone act as a pedometer, because it already does. The trick is to find out how you can get access to that step count, and more.

There are a couple of ways to keep track of your step count on your iPhone. The first one is to use Apple’s own Health application. The second option is to use a third-party application from the App Store. We’ll go over both options.

Using Apple’s Health app to keep track of steps count

The Health app is a stock application on iOS, so if you have a newer iPhone, you automatically have that app installed on your device.

On your iPhone, simply launch the Health application, and you may already see a chart of steps on your main Dashboard, as seen on this screenshot.

If not, tap on the Health Data tab at the bottom of the screen, then select Fitness, then Steps. Finally toggle the “Show on Dashboard” button to display your step count on your main dashboard.

From the Dashboard, you can keep track of your steps by day, week, month, or year.

The best part of using the Health application is that it is entirely free and readily available on your iPhone. But to me, the main downside is that the Health app isn’t really pretty and doesn’t always give a great visual representation of your steps. This is where third-party applications can come in handy.

Using Pedometer++ to track your step count

Before owning an Apple Watch and keeping count of steps directly from it, I used Pedometer++, a , and admittedly one of the best pedometer apps for iPhone. It is free, simple, and to the point, which I particularly appreciate.

Specifically, my favorite feature of Pedometer++ is how it displays step data in a very clear fashion using a bar graph. The tallest the bar, the more steps you have. And unlike Apple’s Health app, it clearly shows how many steps you’ve been walking each day, something you have to hunt down when you use the Health app.

Pedometer++ also lets you set up a daily step goal. If you’re far below the step goal, your bar will show in red. It will turn orange if you get closer, and green once you’ve reached the goal.

Still, Pedometer++ is not perfect. I find it to often report step data much higher than what Apple reports in the Health app. I don’t want to argue Apple’s tracking is better than Pedometer++’s, but as a conservative measure, I like to base my daily step goal of 10,000 steps on Apple’s own data.

As an example based on the screenshots used in this post, you can see that the Health app reports 2,393 steps for me so far today, while Pedometer++ reports 2,645. That’s a 10% difference! At the end of the day, it might not be a big deal to you if all you’re looking for is a rough estimates of your walking steps.

To be completely fair, Pedometer++’s developer David Smith explains on his blog that he believes Apple way of counting steps when the user has both an iPhone and an Apple Watch may be skewed, which could be the reason why I am seeing some discrepancy in the data being reported. If Smith uses the same motion coprocessor to get the raw data as the Health app uses, he actually tweaks this data with his own algorithm when he detects an Apple Watch is being used in conjunction with an iPhone to track step count. Still, I put a little more trust in Apple’s army of engineers, and again, I’d rather be conservative when it comes to my step count.

There is a plethora of similar applications in the App Store, including Runtastic Pedometer Step Counter, and Steps Pedometer & Step Counter, so if Pedometer++ doesn’t seem to work well for you, you might want to try something else.

Tip for getting more accurate data

Although incredibly smart, the motion coprocessor of your iPhone can be more accurate at counting steps if you put your iPhone in your pocket when walking. Having it in a purse or backpack will work too, but it might not be as accurate as if the phone was in the pocket of your pants or shorts.

If you’re trying to count your steps when running, consider using an armband for your iPhone. This will also increase accuracy of step count.

Do you have a daily step goal?

They say that everyone should walk 10,000 steps a day, which for most people would equal to about one and a half hour of walking. I find this goal hard to reach, which is why I started by setting myself a more realistic goal of 6,000 steps a day in 2015, and slowly increased that daily goal over time.

What about you? Do you have a daily step goal? If so, how do you keep track of your step count? Make sure to share with all of us in the comments section below.

Apple Health FAQs

Establishing a connection with Apple Health and Watch

Which phones are able to connect to Apple Health?
How do I connect to Apple Health?
How do I connect to Apple Watch?
I just connected to Apple Health. How come I can’t see my steps?
How often does my Apple Health data get refreshed?
I thought Weight Watchers just needs my Steps information from Health. Why is Health asking me if I want to enable Weight Watchers to read other information?
I got a new iPhone and I want to reconnect to Health. How can I do it?
I deleted the Weight Watchers app and re-installed it. Why did I lose my connection to Health?
I have a Fitbit but I want to also connect to Apple health. Can I do that?

Syncing with Apple Health

I’m in the Weight Watchers app and I can’t see my Apple Health steps in my activity log. What should I do?
How often does my Apple Health data get refreshed?
I’m on the Weight Watchers website (laptop / desktop view) and I can’t see my Apple Health steps in my activity log. Now what?
How come my steps are different between Apple Health and the Weight Watchers app?

Which phones are able to connect to Apple Health?
Weight Watchers members who have an iPhone 5s or later (including iPhone SE).

How do I connect to Apple Health?
You can easily connect to your iPhone 5s (or later) from your phone only (connecting from Web is not available). From your iPhone, go to your Weight Watchers app and then tap More (look for the three dots on the top right corner of the app). Then tap Activity Settings.

Under the Synchronize section, you will see an option to connect to Apple Health. Note: you will not need to tap “Devices”.

Follow directions on the screen to establish connection to Apple Health.

How do I connect to Apple Watch?
If your Apple Watch is connected as a Source in Apple Health, then the steps you get from your Apple Watch will convert to FitPoints automatically.

To check if your Apple Watch is a source, go to the Health app on your iPhone

Tap on the Steps graph. Then tap on Share Data

Make sure your Apple Watch is listed under Data Sources:

I just connected to Apple Health. How come I can’t see my steps?
It may take a few minutes for the Weight Watchers app to receive the data. Wait a few minutes then pull down on the dashboard to refresh your screen.

How often does my Apple Health data get refreshed?
Apple Health data updates every hour from the time you connected to Apple Health. So if you tap the sync button and notice that the date / time of your last sync hasn’t changed, check back again later.

I thought Weight Watchers just needs my Steps information from Health. Why is Health asking me if I want to enable Weight Watchers to read other information?
We’re always thinking towards the future for cool ways we can help you, so we encourage you to enable all information. However, if you only feel comfortable sharing your steps, just make sure the toggle is on for steps. None of your data will be shared.

I got a new iPhone and I want to reconnect to Health. How can I do it?
Once you connect to your new iPhone, Weight Watchers will receive data from the new phone only. But don’t worry – your historical information from your old phone will still be available in your activity log.

I deleted the Weight Watchers app and re-installed it. Why did I lose my connection to Health?
Due to Health’s privacy policies, you will be disconnected from Health if you delete your app. You will have to reconnect to Health through Settings on the Weight Watchers Mobile app. Your historical information from the previous connection will not be lost – the Mobile app will be able to see your Health data from the day you reconnect going forward.

I have a Fitbit but I want to also connect to Apple health. Can I do that?
To ensure we have the most accurate record of your activity with minimal duplication, we allow for one connection to a device or app at a time.

I’m in the Weight Watchers app and I can’t see my Apple Health steps in my activity log. What should I do?
Scroll down to the end of the activity log on the Mobile app and tap on the “Sync with your Apple Health app” button. Then pull down on the screen to refresh or close the app and reopen. Apple Health data updates every hour from the time you connected to Apple Health. So if you tap the sync button and notice that the date / time of your last sync hasn’t changed, check back again later.

How often does my Apple Health data get refreshed?
Apple Health data updates every hour from the time you connected to Apple Health. So if you tap the sync button and notice that the date / time of your last sync hasn’t changed, check back again later.

I’m on the Weight Watchers website (laptop / desktop view) and I can’t see my Apple Health steps in my activity log. Now what?
Simply open up your Weight Watchers app. Then refresh your web browser and you should see your steps refreshed in your activity log.

How come my steps are different between Apple Health and the Weight Watchers app?
Apple Health sends updates to Weight Watchers throughout the day. If in the moment you happen to check the app your steps don’t match what you see in Health, check back again later in the day. It’ll soon catch up.

Missing the Health.app on my iPhone?

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The iOS Health app is a dashboard for all your health data, but many iPhone owners have never even opened it. That’s a shame, as Health can be a helpful tool for keeping tabs on your vital stats.

(Image credit: Sitthiphong/)

You may have noticed third-party fitness apps asking for permission to read and write data to Health. That access makes the Health app a centralized database that may be the most well-rounded place to see all of your data, from steps walked and calories burned to heart rate variability.

MORE: iOS 11 Guide: How to Use the New and Improved Features

Here’s how to set up Health to get a better handle on some of your most important data.

1. Find the Health app, which is already preinstalled on your iPhone. It’s the white icon with a pink heart in the top right, though if you don’t see it amid the other apps on your phone, just swipe down for the Spotlight search bar and type “Health” in the search field.

2. At launch, Health displays your activity for today. If you’ve never given the Health app access to any other apps you use, such as MyFitnessPal or Strava, then all the data stored in the app will come from the iPhone itself. Your phone is capable of tracking walking, running, steps and flights of stairs climbed. It also monitors sleep data if you use the Bedtime feature in iOS 11’s Clock app.

3. Tab over to Health Data. That’s where you can dive into stats such as an activity overview of your day and month, calm your brain with a mindfulness video, take a look at your nutrition (which is calculated from third-party calorie-counting apps) and see how well you sleep. If you don’t have other apps connected to Health, the Health app will recommend apps to you in each category so you can get started. You can show all of the information stored in Health to your doctor, but the app doesn’t analyze data or offer any insights into how metrics are related to one another.

4. You can also access Health Records in Health Data. That’s where you can add medical records from your physician. Apple aims to make your iPhone a database for all your health information. More than 100 hospitals and clinics in 39 health networks are integrating medical records in Apple Health. You can find a participating hospital, network or location is participating in the new feature by using the search bar at the top of the Health Records tab.

5. Tap on Sources to see which apps and devices you’ve given Health permissions to.Many fitness trackers integrate with Apple Health, so if you wear a Garmin device, that data is synced to both the Garmin Connect app and the Health app. Here you can turn off permissions if you no longer want an app to be able to read and write data in Health.

Set Up Your Medical ID

You can keep your medical information in the Health app, using the Medical ID feature. It allows emergency personnel to quickly call up your health data on your phone if you can’t respond. Here’s how it works.

1. Tap on the Medical ID tab in the Health app.This is where you enter your medical conditions, add notes, list medications, put in your blood type.

2. Make sure you toggle on Show When Locked after entering your Medical ID info. This is so emergency personnel can see the information when they tap on Emergency on the Touch ID/passcode screen. It could save your life.

3. The Medical ID section is also where you can enroll to become an organ donor.That registration goes through Donate Life America, not Apple, and isn’t shared with other apps.

  • Best Workout Apps to Get Healthy
  • How to Use iOS 11’s Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature
  • Best Fitness Trackers and Watches

How to use the iPhone’s Health app

Today’s political scene is chaotic, the generations are staring each other down, and the planet’s ecosystem is upending — but at least you can take care of yourself. Apple’s updated Health app, which appeared with iOS 13, allows you to monitor your health status, make important information available for caregivers in case of an accident or sudden illness, and track your fitness regimen.

When you first fire it up, you get a welcome screen that offers a brief rundown of the new features, which, according to Apple, includes a redesigned summary display, better presentation of your data, and menstrual cycle tracking. You’re then invited to input basic information — name, date of birth, gender, height, and weight — and then you’re brought to the main Summary screen, which gives you a rundown of your current statistics, depending on what you want to know.

The Summary screen may look simple, but there is a lot of health and exercise data you can view here.

On the bottom of the screen, tap on the “Browse” icon to see a variety of categories you can ask the app to track. For example, select “Heart,” and you can ask it to monitor your heart rate variability or oxygen saturation, among other things. Select “Activity,” and you can track cycling distance, exercise minutes, flights climbed, wheelchair distance, and many others.

Tap on a specific activity — say, cycling distance — and you’re brought to a detailed screen that shows your history with that activity (such as the distance you’ve cycled) and a list of helpful third-party apps that you can add. You can also place the activity in your front Summary screen by scrolling down to “Options” and tapping on the star next to “Add to Favorites.”

If you want to see all of the categories and all of the activities in one long list, there’s a way to do that as well. On the Summary page, next to the “Favorites” topic header, tap on the “Edit” link and then select the “All” tab. You’ll get a list of every activity there is, and you can then choose which ones you want to appear on the Summary page. (You won’t be able to see any of the data, though; for that, you still need to go to that “Browse” icon.)

Eventually, as you continue to use the app, you’ll see a “Highlights” category added to the Summary screen, which will show info from, according to Apple, “the apps and devices you use most.” You also may get notices at the top of the Summary screen — for example, if it detects unusual readings or a higher-than-usual volume level from your headphones.

Medical info

One of the first things you may want to do is set up medical info for first responders. When you first go into the Health app, you’ll see an invitation to set up your Medical ID. Tap on “Get Started” and enter any medical conditions, allergies, medications you take, and blood type; you can also add an emergency contact from your contact list. After that, when you (or someone else) tap on the Emergency link on your passcode screen, you will not only be able to make an emergency call, but you’ll also have access to medical info (by tapping a link in the lower-left corner) and emergency contact info.

Once you’ve started using the Health app, you can edit, add to, or just view your medical info by tapping on the Profile icon on the top right of the Summary screen. You can also set up a link to your medical records (if they are available from your provider) and tweak the privacy settings for any devices you may have connected to the Health app (such as an Apple Watch). You can also export all of your health data via .XML files.

Apple has created a good introductory video to some of the features of its new Health app. Take a few minutes to watch it, or just go into your Health app and set it up. It’s not difficult, and it’s definitely worth it.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

How do I enable Mindful Minutes with Apple Health App on iPhone?

In order to enable Mindful Minutes on your iPhone app, ensure:

  • Your iPhone is running iOS 12 or newer.
  • You have the most recent version of the Ten Percent Happier app installed. Check for any app updates here.
  • Note that you will only be able to feed mindful minutes done outside our app into your Ten Percent Happier meditation stats if you are running app version 5.1.6 or higher.

Upon first signing into the app you should be asked to “Enable Apple Health” but if you did not do so then, you can enable it any time from within the app:

  1. Tap Profile.
  2. Open Settings (gear icon at top right of Profile tab).
  3. Enable the button next to “Apple Health” underneath CONNECT.
  4. Allow Ten Percent Happier to connect with the Health app by selecting “Turn All Categories On” on the resulting Health Access screen, then select “Allow” to complete the integration.
  5. Once enabled, mindful minutes logged in the Ten Percent Happier app will be recorded in the Apple Health app under Mindfulness > Mindful Minutes.
  6. If you meditated with a different app or on your own and those minutes show in your Health app, you can feed them into your Ten Percent Happier statistics. Turn on “Use Health data in stats” under CONNECT.

Adding minutes manually using the Apple Health app:

First, make sure Ten Percent Happier is sharing data with the Health app using the instructions at the top of this page.
Then log the minutes:

If you accidentally add a multi-day meditation, you can delete it. Just tap “Show All Data” on the Mindful Minutes screen, tap “Edit” at the top right, and then tap the red circle by any meditations you wish to delete. Then again add the session correctly.

Troubleshooting issues with Apple Health app integration:

12 Best Free Fitness Apps for iPhone to Get Healthier

Download: Fitbit Coach (Free, subscription available)

10. MyFitnessPal

Diet is an important part of any exercise routine. Tracking macros like carbohydrates, protein, and fat can help you reach your goals. But counting calories doesn’t have to be a pen and paper exercise. MyFitnessPal makes it fairly easy to log your meals and snacks, with over six million foods already logged away and a handy barcode scanner to help recognize them.

You can import recipe information, log items from restaurants, and use your own home recipes to ensure you’re staying within the boundaries you set. The app also functions as an exercise monitor, connecting to more than 50 other apps and devices to help incorporate your activity and diet information in one place.

Upgrade to premium for $5 per month for an ad-free experience with better analysis tools, nutrition information, and much more.

Download: MyFitnessPal (Free, subscription available)

11. Fit Radio

Even if you subscribe to Apple Music or Spotify, it can be hard finding music you want to listen to every time you work out. That’s exactly where Fit Radio comes in, fusing fresh high-intensity music with workouts for a hands-free fitness experience. The app offers coaching for a variety or workouts, with more than 20 new workouts added every week, to motivate and tire you out at the same time.

You can also choose to listen to music and fit the music with the activity yourself. Sort by genre, BPM, activity, or DJ with over 150 mixes added each month. You can skip songs you don’t like, and even tweet the DJ responsible for the mix. Finally, there’s a Running tab that matches your pace to the music, either automatically or by manually setting a pace you want to follow and letting the app pick the tunes.

Upgrade to premium for $6 to enjoy more mixes, no ads, and better recommendations.

Download: Fit Radio (Free, subscription available)

12. Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO might not be a fitness app, but it can certainly help motivate you to get outside and move around. If your doctor has told you to get outside for a daily walk but you’re finding it difficult to get motivated, Pokémon GO might be the distraction you need. You can play virtually anywhere, and you don’t need to spend a penny (though there are some in-app microtransactions).

This game could be the carrot on the end of the string that gets you moving around outside, without even realizing you’re exercising. The developer, Niantic, adds more Pokémon as time goes on, as well as refinements like AR+ mode for vastly improved augmented reality. You don’t need to have played a Pokémon game before in your life to enjoy this one! Check our Pokémon GO starter tips to give you a leg up.

Download: Pokémon GO (Free, in-app purchases available)

Work Up a Sweat and Start Feeling Better

However you choose to get fit, these apps should help you achieve progress. Not only do they help improve physical health, but exercise has a positive secondary effect for mental health too.

If you’re looking for something a little more specific to that, check out our app recommendations to help track and improve your mental health or those that help you monitor the air quality of your environment The 7 Best Apps and Sites to Check Air Quality Anywhere The 7 Best Apps and Sites to Check Air Quality Anywhere Checking the air quality of your area helps you take needed precautions. Here are the best apps and websites for air quality info. Read More .

5 Fun Ways to Use Apple’s New iPhone 6 Health App

If you updated your iPhone to the latest i0S8 software, you got a brand new fitness tracker out of the deal too-whether you were aware of it or not. No, the Apple Watch isn’t out yet (but you can look forward to these 3 Amazing Features of the Apple Watch), but Apple did introduce a new app, simply called Health.

Open the app (it looks like a white box with a little red heart), and you’ll see it’s been tracking your steps, walking and running distance, and flights of stairs you climb each day. The app works with something called a “M8 motion coprocessor chip” and an advanced sensor which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope (to determine your orientation in space) to automatically source this info.

But that’s not the extent of this healthy tool. HealthKit-think of it like the feature Passbook which collates concert tix, coupons, boarding tickets, and more to one spot on your phone-allows you to do this with all of your health, fitness, and nutrition data. You can add all of your health-related apps into this one space where they work together to give you a compressive look at your overall wellness. Here, a few ways to maximize all that Health has to offer.


Keep It On Hand

Put your phone in your pocket or hold it in your hand when walking around. Doing so will ensure you get a more accurate read on your steps, distance, etc. It will still work if it’s in your bag, but it may not be quite as accurate (it may give you extra credit since your bag may swing a bit when you walk!).

Check Your Steps

Use the tools you’re getting for free! A few times a day, check how many steps you’ve logged and aim to take at least 10,000 by each day’s end. But the more, the better. One study found that taking 12,500 steps per day helps to counteract the negative impact of sugar.

Shop the App Store

Download some great health apps and allow them to share data with HealthKit (in your apps’ settings there will be an option to allow “HealthKit Sharing”). When it comes to nutrition apps (like My Fitness Pal), you can track calories and other key nutrients (like protein and sugar, for example). To get that info on your Health app dashboard, simply click on “Health Data” at the bottom of the screen and turn on “Show on Dashboard” for each nutrient.

Then, Prioritize Your Favorites

If you sync your Jawbone or other fitness tracking devices with Apple Health, and you’d rather use that step and distance info, you can. Simply tap on “Share Data” and move whichever app you prefer to the top of the “Data Sources” list. The same can be done if you use multiple nutrition or weight-loss apps. Simply prioritize the one you use most often. (First, find out The Right Way to Use Weight-Loss Apps.)

Think About the Unexpected

Create your “Medical ID” within the app. You simply enter any allergies, health conditions, and meds you may be taking and add an emergency contact. The info can be accessed even if your phone is locked, so if you fall while out for a run or have some other sort of accident where you can’t speak for yourself, you can get the help you need-stat.

  • By Caitlin Carlson @Caitlinscarlson

PSA: Fitness apps are getting really good, guys. With tons of non-boring workouts, fun trainers to coach you through, and features that are low-key addictive, your phone might be the best thing to happen to your cardiovascular system.

Because there are So. Damn. Many. Apps, we read the fine print so you know what’s worth your time and money. Behold.

1. If you like lots of options:

All Out Studio

All Out Studio

$15/month or $99/year on iTunes and Google Play

Sometimes you want to start a real fitness program with guidelines and rules—and sometimes you just want to take a cardio dance class in your underwear and call it a day. Welp, All Out Studio (which is a Hearst affiliate) is pretty awesome for both of those situations. The app has more than 100 on-demand workout videos you can stream anytime (including a few from yours truly) taught by certified trainers. You can choose from strength sessions, yoga and stretching workouts, dance cardio classes, each ranging from 10 to 60 minutes. If you want an actual regimen, the app also has plans you can follow along with created by Insta-famous trainers. Who says being indecisive is a bad thing?

2. If you want to level-up your belfie game:

Tammy Fit

Tammy Fit

$15/month or $74/year on iTunes and Google Play

Kardashian-adjacent model and fitness influencer Tammy Hembrow created her strength-based fitness app to help people get a “piece of the Tammy Hembrow lifestyle.” And, just guessing here, I think they mean her butt. Sign up for the app, enter info about your fitness goals and your current activity level, and the app suggests a plan, like a beginner booty workout, an advanced version of that plan, a post-pregnancy regimen, plus an at-home and at-the-gym full body workout plans. Each plan features three to five workouts a week, focusing on resistance and weight training. There’s something for everyone here, but judging by the before and after pics on the app’s Instagram page, booty gains are definitely included.

3. If you love you a Fitbit:

Fitbit Coach

Fitbit

Free on iTunes and Google Play or $5/month or $50/year for Fitbit Coach Premium

If you want your fitness app to know your life, this is your jam. The Fitbit Coach uses data collected from your wearable, like the Fitbit Versa, to recommend exercises specifically for you and your fitness level. From there, you’ll follow equipment-free workouts via video demonstration on the app or follow along as the app audio coaches you through a run or walk. During the workouts, which range from 6 to 60 minutes, the coach suggests modifications, gives tips on form, and cheers you on (you’re doing great, sweetie!). If you upgrade to premium, you’ll get custom workouts based on your fitness goals, like gaining muscle or improving your strength, rather than your current fitness status.

4. If you’re all about aesthetic:

Obé Fitness

Obe

$27/month or $200/year on iTunes

We’re not giving out superlatives here, but if we were, this would be named “prettiest in the class,” thanks to the rainbow-colored room each workout is shot in. But she’s not all about looks. The app features live classes (15 per day!) and streaming workouts, like strength and resistance training, yoga, and cardio. Although Obé suggests you do three strength training and two cardio classes per week, you can totally choose your own adventure here. And with boutique-style classes like Dance HIIT and Pilates, your short attention span will be very entertained.

5. If challenges get you psyched to work out:

30 Day Fitness Challenge

30 Day Fitness Challenge

$5/week on iTunes and Google Play

Download the app, create your profile, and enter how many pushups you can do, how long you can run, and how often you exercise and the app will put together weekly equipment-free workout routines. That’s cool and all, but the 30-day challenge feature will get you even more pumped about going after your fitness goals. Select a challenge like Cardio Blast or Sexy Legs and Butt and tune in daily for your workout vid, which range from 14 to 26 minutes each.

6. If you want to make this fitness thing a habit:

8fit Workout and Meal Planner

8Fit

$60/year or $30/3 months on iTunes and Google Play

You out here just trying to move more than you normally do? Then, a custom workout routine by 8fit could be clutch. The app chooses a workout plan for you based on your weight, goals, and criteria like how many pushups you can do in a row. From there, you can expect a body weight workout from 8fit three to five days a week. Plus, the app can also track your steps, encouraging you to walk it out more frequently when you’re not sweating it out. And if that 10- to 20-minute sweat sesh isn’t enough for you, throw in one of their “classes” like yoga and core strength.

7. If you don’t own a single fitness prop:

Freeletics Bodyweight

Freeletics GmbH/ iTunes

Free on iTunes and Google Play

The free version of this app includes 900 equipment-free workouts based on time rather than a set number of reps. Chose between high-intensity interval training and strength-building workouts, which last between 5 and 30 minutes.

For a fitness assessment and custom plan to help you reach specific fitness goals, like building muscle or increasing your endurance, you can opt into a 12-week coaching plan beginning at $35.

8. If you’re new to working out:

Aaptiv

Aaptiv/iTunes

$15/month, $100/year (with 30-day free trial) on iTunes and Google Play

Aaptiv has more than 2,500 on-demand workouts lasting as few as seven minutes for different fitness levels, including beginner. Each sweat session is led by a trainer who talks you through a treadmill or outdoor run, elliptical session, race training, cycling, strength training, stretching, or yoga. Even better: Each is set to a playlist made of popular songs you might actually know, as opposed to lame stock music.

9. If you’re ready to start running:

C25K 5K Trainer

Zen Labs/ iTunes

$5/month or $50/year on iTunes and Google Play

Set your sights on a mini goal of running a 5K (just over 3 miles) in two months with the app that literally talks you through three 30- to 40-minute runs (including a five-minute warm-up and cooldown) per week. Don’t worry: Each session alternates between walking and running so you can build up your endurance and includes an optional playlist keep you in the zone.

10. If you can’t handle long workouts:

Workout for Women

Fast Builder Limited

Free on iTunes

If you like your workouts quick and dirty, this totally free (!!!) app exclusively offers seven-minute workouts—no equipment needed. Featuring a mix of strength-building and cardio moves like butt kicks, squat jumps, donkey kicks, and planks, each workout includes video and audio instructions to keep you motivated and your form on point.

11. If you’re training for a race:

Nike + Run Club

Nike

Free on iTunes and Google Play

Whether your goal is to simply survive or hit a new personal record, you need a training plan to get you across the finish line. The Nike + Run Club app customizes its 5K-, 10K-, 15K-, half-marathon-, or full-marathon-training plans based on your current pace, the furthest distance you can run, and how often you’re willing to get out there. Then, it adapts based on your progress (and all those runs you inevitably skip) so your goal remains in reach.

12. If you love yoga but prefer not to pay per class:

Daily Yoga

Daily Yoga

$10/month or $40/year on iTunes and Google Play

For the price of one hella bougie yoga class, you get 12 months of access to more than 100 guided beginner- to master-level yoga and meditation videos with audio instructions. The app also features yoga workout plans for various goals such as becoming more mindful or getting toned, which include a series of classes and individual poses. Or if you want to master one specific pose, like a headstand, you can choose from more than 500 moves and follow the video instructions.

13. If you live for variety:

Studio Tone It Up

Tone It Up

$13/month or $84/year on iTunes

From Instagram-famous Tone It Up trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, this app offers a fresh GIF-based workout every day—for free. If you’re feeling extra, you can purchase a Studio membership, which offers access to 40 on-demand workout videos, including yoga, kickboxing, cardio, toning, kettlebell, and strength-training. The upgrade also features new live-streaming classes every week, which you can join via your phone.

14. If you want to break a sweat without running:

Nike Training Club

Nike

Free on iTunes and Google Play

Cardio is hard, but you don’t have to jump on a treadmill to get it done. Nike Training Club has more than 160 mostly fast-paced 15- to 45-minute workouts (including circuit training, bodyweight training, and weight training) that get your heart rate up fast. Filter workouts based on body part, required equipment, or goal, like building endurance or strength. You can then follow an instructional video, or once you’ve mastered your form (or your phone’s battery is low), refer to a simple list of moves. The app also has yoga and stretching exercises for when you need a breather.

15. If you love Spin but hate the pricey classes:

Peloton Cycling and Workouts

Peloton

$13/month on iTunes

This app brings live Spin classes and on-demand cycling workouts to your phone for a fraction of the cost of most cycling studios. The monthly membership gets you 14 live-streaming rides per day (lol, good luck). When you need a break from the bike, tune into one of 8,000 on-demand exercise videos, which also include classes like yoga, strength training, and stretching.

16. If you want a little guidance in the weight room:

SWEAT

SWEAT

$20/month on iTunes and Google Play

Intrigued but unexperienced? Learn the basics of lifting with SWEAT’s four-week PWR program for beginners, which entails three weight-training sessions plus three cardio workouts per week. Led by Instagram fitness star Kelsey Wells, it preps you for the app’s 12-week strength-building program, which involves heavy-weight, low-rep exercises performed with free weights or weight machines. Each workout lasts 45 minutes to an hour and includes an eight-minute warm-up; three to four sets of three different strength-training moves; two sets of circuit training; and a five-minute cooldown. Around week five, expect an extra two minutes of burnout exercises designed to push you to the limit at the end of your workout.

Bonus: The app also provides access to Kayla Itsines’s BBG program, a fitness plan based on bodyweight exercises to keep your strength up on days you can’t get to the gym.

17. If you want to lift your butt:

30-Day Squat Challenge

Jozic Productions Pty Ltd

Free on iTunes and Google Play

You don’t have to do squats for booty gains, but they sure don’t hurt. Depending on your fitness level, daily workouts include as few as 10 basic squats (in the beginner level one program) or as many as 50 wide squats and 50 sumo squats (in the advanced level two program). From there, the app gradually turns up the intensity by increasing reps and incorporating more difficult squat variations over the course of 30 days. Each week includes one rest day to help your muscles recover.

18. If you want to sculpt your core:

Sworkit Abs and Core

Sworkit

Free on iTunes and Google Play

This mini, free version of the subscription-based Sworkit app features three core workouts: one for your abs, one for your back, and one that targets both. Once you pick your routine, select how much time you have (between 5 and 55 minutes), and the app puts together a series of challenging but easy-to-follow exercises. Each move is demonstrated via video and an audio voiceover, which calls out the next move when it’s time to switch. Over time, as you get stronger, you can lengthen workouts to challenge yourself even more.

19. If your body is sore AF:

Stretching and Flexibility Plans

Gabriel Lupu

$10/six months or $18/year on iTunes

When everything hurts, this app will guide you through 50 stretching routines sorted by fitness level and workout time via instructional video to improve your flexibility and (hopefully) ease your pain a little. Or if you want to go rogue, you can browse through 300 different stretches or create your own stretching routine to follow.

Ashley Oerman Deputy Lifestyle Director Ashley Oerman is the deputy lifestyle director at Cosmopolitan, covering fitness, health, food, cocktails, home, and entertainment.

A few weeks ago, MobiHealthNews compiled a list of 23 health and wellness apps that connect to Apple’s HealthKit platform, which feeds health and wellness data from third party devices and apps into its consumer-facing app, called Health. Health is preloaded on all iPhones running iOS 8.

And even though, last week, popular activity tracker app Fitbit posted on its customer feedback forum that it had no current plans to integrate with the platform, at least 38 other apps have now been added to Apple’s HealthKit collection in the Apple App Store.

Some apps that were included in MobiHealthNews’ previous list, but not in Apple’s, including Lark and Fitport, have now been added to Apple’s list. Apple also split the list into three sections: Health and Fitness, Food and Nutrition, and Healthcare Apps.

Here are the other 38 apps that have added HealthKit integration:

Health and Fitness:

Beddit’s app.

Health Mate — Withings’ app, Health Mate, syncs with all Withings devices, including the Withings smart scales, activity trackers, sleep tracker, blood pressure monitor, and baby products. All of the data from these devices can now be imported from Health Mate into the user’s Health app.

Strava Running and Cycling — Strava, which also modified its app to make use of Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor a few months after Apple added the chip to its last phones, tracks runs and bike rides. Users can also create routes, follow old routes, get stats on their runs, like distance, pace, speed, and elevation, and sync heart rate statistics through a participating activity tracker. Through the Health App integration, users can also send their Strava data to the Health app. The app description adds that this service is optional.

DailyBurn — DailyBurn offers a library of workout videos including cardio, high-intensity interval training, yoga, strength-training, dance, and beginner fitness workouts. The videos vary in time and can last 15 minutes or an hour. Data from these workouts can be integrated into HealthKit.

Pocket Yoga ($2.99) — This app offers voice and visual instructions for 27 different yoga practices. If users connect their app to Health, it will also track heart rate and calories burned using HealthKit.

Golfshot: Golf GPS — Golfshot offers several features for golfers, including scoring, GPS distances to the green on over 500,000 golf holes and over 40,000 golf courses globally, satellite imagery of each hole, but for HealthKit, the app lets users integrate steps, calories, and pace of play into the app.

Sleepio — Sleepio is London-based digital health service maker Big Health’s first tool. The app aims to help users fix their sleeping issues. From there, Sleepio creates a personalized program for the user to follow. “The Prof”, an online persona built into Sleepio, leads users through the program to help them learn cognitive behavioral techniques that will ideally improve their sleep schedules. The system also offers various tools including a daily schedule. With the integration, the app now imports fitness data from HealthKit so that it can provide users with more personalized insights.

Runtastic PRO GPS ($4.99) — This Runtastic app tracks distance, duration, speed, elevation change, and calories burned. Unlike the standard version, Runtastic PRO offers voice coaching, auto pause for session when the user stops moving, route suggestions, and training goals. With its HealthKit integration, Runtastic will now send its data to the platform.

Runmeter GPS Pedometer — Runmeter helps runners track their runs, find training plans, and record running routes, laps, and splits. With HealthKit integration, the app can also post workouts to the Health app.

Argus — Argus, the latest app from health app maker Azumio, aggregates readings from many of Azumio’s other apps and also includes built-in tracking for food, sleep, and activity. Unlike most of Azumio’s apps, Argus is available on iPhone only. The app will also add calorie and workout data from HealthKit.

Endomondo — Endomondo is a personal trainer that people can use if they are running, cycling, walking, or doing another physical exercise. Users can track routes, record stats, and share workouts. When users connect the app to Health, the workouts are automatically saved to both Endomondo and Health.

Runtastic Me — This app tracks steps, active minutes, and calories burned. It also lets the user set goals to achieve and integrated with Runtastic’s new wearable activity tracker Orbit. All data collected can be sent to Health.

Clue- Period Tracker — Although Apple’s Health app does not come with a fertility tracking section to upload data specific to a woman’s cycle, Clue, which tracks a user’s sex, pain, mood, cervical fluid, birth control pills, and basal body temperature, can upload some data to Health. The basal body temperature can be uploaded to Health under the temperature section. So long as the user doesn’t record her regular temperature as well, the graph will show trends in her basal body temperature over time.

Instant Heart Rate ($1.99) — Instant Heart Rate, the app that first put Azumio on the map, tracks the user’s heart rate by detecting color changes on the user’s finger using the phone’s camera. The app’s heart rate measurement can now also be added to Health.

Garmin Connect — Owners of Garmin activity tracking devices can use Garmin Connect to sync all of their workout data. This includes maps, steps, distance, and calories burned. Now users also have the option to post these metrics to Health.

Beddit — This app connects to Beddit’s in-bed sensor that tracks a person’s total sleep time, sleep cycles, average heart rate, average respiration rate, heart rate curve, and night time events like bed exits and snoring. Sleep data and heart rate can be viewed in Health.

Fjuul — Fjuul tracks a user’s daily activity and then tells the user how to turn everyday movements into exercise. And now users can feed activity data into HealthKit.

Endomondo Life — Endomondo developed this app specifically for the iPhone 5S. It tracks activity using the iPhone’s motion coprocessor to monitor activity without burning the battery life. The app supports syncing height and weight with the Apple Health app.

Get Moving ($0.99) — Get Moving also tracks activity, but it also makes a point to track inactivity. Using the location manager, users can see where they have been inactive during the day and for how long. If users connect the app to HealthKit, it will read the user’s height, weight, and gender.

PEAR Training — PEAR offers workouts and training plans for users. If users sync the app with HealthKit, the app will send workout results, like distance, calories, and heart rate to Health.

Food and Nutrition:

Foodzy

Lifesum — Lifesum aims to make it easier for users to track what they eat and how they exercise. It offers barcode scanning for food tracking, food and exercise charts, quicker entry for often-consumed foods, and a database of millions of food items. The free (and ad-free) app also has integrations with RunKeeper, Withings, and Moves. The app’s integration with HealthKit helps users integrate health information into the Lifesum app.

Weight Watchers Mobile — The Weight Watchers app helps Weight Watchers members keep track of their food consumption when they are on the go. The app helps them record every time that they eat, workout, or change weight. The app offers a database of over 200,000 foods and 4,000 recipes. Weight Watchers also pulls fitness data from Health into its app.

Panera Bread — The Panera app lets users look for a bakery in their area, browse the menu, order food and customize the order from a smartphone, and sign up to be a member of Panera’s rewards club, MyPanera. Now the nutrition facts from food that the user orders can be imported into HealthKit.

Nutrino — Nutrino provides food suggestions to help users reach their health goals based on their medical profile, goals, and culinary preferences. Users can add meal summaries to the Health App, sync their weight with Health App, and add exercises from other Health App apps to their Nutrino diary.

Foodzy — Foodzy is a mobile fitness and nutrition journal. The app helps users create personalized food dashboards and sync their nutrition to the Health app if they prefer that dashboard.

Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary ($3.99) — This app allows the user to create a plan with a target weight and desired weight loss rate. From there, the app offers food tracking, exercise input and recipe suggestions. The online community is supported by a registered dietitian and the user can also create private groups for family and friends. To input food, the app offers a barcode scanner, food database, internet search access and water tracking. Nutrition data and food tracking can be synced to Health.

Weight Loss Tracker by RecStyle — Users can use this app to store weight and body mass data. When they turn the device sideways, the app will show a graph of the user’s progress. The user can also opt to send this data to their Health app.

MyMacros+ Diet, Weight and Calorie Tracker ($2.99) — MyMacros+, developed by a professional bodybuilder, aims to help users track their nutrition. This nutrition data can be sent to HealthKit.

Healthcare Apps:

Mayo Clinic — The Mayo Clinic app helps patients of the hospital access their personal medical record, schedule an appointment, view lab results, or contact their care team through a secure messaging feature. Their personal health data can also be sent to the Health dashboard.

MyChart — Electronic medical record company Epic’s app, called MyChart, offers patients a place to review test results, medications, and immunization history, stay in touch with their physician, manage appointments, upload health and fitness data, including data from the Apple Health app, view and pay medical bills, and access their family’s health information.

AskMD — Sharecare’s AskMD app offers users a symptom checker that allows them to choose which symptoms they are feeling and then see which potential health issues they might have. The app then walks the user through a ‘consultation’ in which the app will ask the user a series of questions to identify more specifically what the symptom feels like, when it started, and if there are any other symptoms accompanying it. AskMD will integrate data from Health so that the app will have snapshots of the user’s health.

onpatient Personal Health Record — EHR developer drchrono’s app provides patients who use the EHR system with a way to view their medical records on the go. The data can also be imported into Health.

Qardio — This app connects to Qardio’s recently FDA-cleared connected blood pressure monitor, called QardioArm. QardioArm connects via Bluetooth to this app where the information can be shared with family members or doctors. This data can also be uploaded to HealthKit.

Hello Doctor — Hello Doctor aims to help patients manage and store their medical information. Users can take blood pressure data from Health to auto-create a blood pressure report that they can then share with their doctor

Patient IO — This app helps healthcare professionals create and deliver care plans to patients. The app turns the care plan into a list of daily tasks complete with reminders and health tracking for patients. Physicians use a dashboard to personalize the plans, but once physicians create one for a certain condition or disease, they can make it a template and have a starting point for the next time they create a similar plan. Users can use the app to view their health data and sync it to Health.

HealthyNow — HealthyNow is the companion app for the Cerner Wellness Health Portal. The platform collects activity and nutrition data, offers a messaging center to connect with health professionals, incentivizes patients with challenges, and provides a medication management section. Though its HealthKit integration, patients can also get step and weight data from HealthKit and upload it to the Cerner Wellness Health Portal.

Other apps:

Axial Exchange — Axial Exchange builds mobile patient engagement tools for hospitals. The app offers day-to-day health management tools including medication adherence, access to all health system resources available to patients, and trackers for mood, headaches, and vital signs. Hospitals and health systems that use Axial Exchange include Hospital Corporation of America, Baptist Health, Parish Medical Center, and University of Colorado Health. The Axial app now integrates data from HealthKit in order to help providers get a clearer picture of the user’s health.

QS Access — Quantified Self Labs, a California-based company, aims to connect people who are interested in self tracking through events, meetups, and forums. The company also created a guide to self tracking tools. Through its integration with HealthKit, people who have the QS Access app can download it to Numbers, Excel, R, or any other CSV compatible tool.

Ovia Fertility — Ovuline’s fertility app, Ovia Fertility, offers an ovulation calculator and calendar, period tracker, articles on fertility and conception, and data-driven predictions of fertility and ovulation. The Ovia Fertility app can also send blood pressure, weight, steps, and body temperature data to HealthKit. Ovuline’s other app, Ovia Pregnancy, can share blood pressure and weight.

The 13th Version UA Yeezy Boost 350 Turtle Dove, the perfect version

Apple Health and HealthKit first arrived in 2014 when iOS 8 launched but they have come along way since then.

In a nutshell, the Health app gathers information from your iPhone, Apple Watch and third-party apps to quantify data about you and your environment and display it in an easy-to-read, secure and accurate dashboard. HealthKit is the developer framework behind it that allows apps to work with Apple Health and each other.

If you’re confused about how the Apple Health app works, what type of information you need to get the most out of it, and which apps are compatible, keep reading. This is an introduction to Apple Health with some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Apple’s fitness and health app.

What is Apple HealthKit?

Apple HealthKit is a developer framework. Think of it as a set of tools and services that developers and manufacturers need in order to make their apps and devices compatible with Apple’s Health app.

The HealthKit framework can securely share your health data between compatible apps and services. For example, if you use a smart device with its own app to monitor your weight each day and a second app to track the amount of calories you consume daily, HealthKit would let the scale app share weight data with your calorie-monitoring app to give you more insight.

Numerous developers, manufacturers, and health service providers have enabled their products or services with HealthKit support, allowing them to work with the Health app – more on which apps are compatible in a little further down.

Pocket-lint

What is Apple Health?

Apple Health is a health and fitness app – it’s the all white icon with a red/pink heart in the top right corner – and it is a stock app which means it is automatically downloaded onto your iPhone like Photos, Clock, Contacts, Messages, etc.

Health targets people who are interested in learning more about their health and fitness, but it’s an app for convenience, allowing you to see an overview of all your health statistics in one app, rather than having to open several.

In its current form (it’s about to get revamped when iOS 13 launches later this year), the Health app is a visual dashboard that pulls together your health and fitness data from compatible apps and devices. It will then display any useful data through an easy-to-understand interface. You might see how many calories you burned during a workout, for instance, or how far you ran in the morning.

The Health app will also display more complex metrics such as your blood pressure, body weight, sleep levels, and glucose levels but it needs to be connected or paired with smart devices that can measure these statistics.

How can apps read your health data?

Once you’ve given permission to a health or fitness app, the respective app uses sensors and motion coprocessors in your iPhone or connected wearables and smart devices to collect your health data – such as calorie intake, steps taken, blood pressure, body weight, sleep levels, glucose levels, etc.

Connected wearables and smart devices include everything from smartwatches and fitness bands to Bluetooth heart-rate monitors and blood glucose readers. According to the HealthKit framework, your iPhone is the first device to collect and supply data to the Health app, followed by wearables and other smart devices. HealthKit quantifies the data and pipes a simplified version of everything to the Health app, for your viewing pleasure.

Keep in mind that health and fitness apps without their own smart devices also work with HealthKit and the Health app. You just need to manually enter your age, height, weight, and other health-based information into those apps, and then they can send it to HealthKit for quantifying and sharing with other apps.

Pocket-lint

How do you use the Apple Health app?

The Apple Health app has four main tabs at the bottom: Today, Health Data, Sources, Medical ID.

Today

The Today tab is the main tab in the Apple Health app and it will be the tab that you’ll land on when you open the app. At the top of the Today screen in the top right corner is a small circle with a head in it. This is your profile where you can see and edit your blood type, sex, skin type, date of birth and other information.

At the top of the screen in the top left hand corner you’ll see the current month, along with days of the current week below. You’ll be able to see your health and fitness history here by clicking on one of the visible dates or tapping the month in the top left corner to go back further.

Below the calendar dates, you’ll see a dashboard with a number of coloured cards showing numerous metrics, such as Active Energy, Steps, Flights Climbed, Heart Rate, etc. What appears here will depend on what apps and devices you have setup and granted permission to share data to Apple Health.

Scrolling down the dashboard will show you all the metrics Apple Health has collected and tapping on each metric card will offer more information, including a graph and the ability to filter by day, week, month and year at the top. You can also manually add data when in an individual metric by tapping the “+” in the top right of the screen.

Those with an Apple Watch will see their Activity data appear at the top of the Today dashboard.

Pocket-lint

Health Data

The Health Data tab offers access to numerous categories. There are four main tiles at the top of the Health Data tab – Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Sleep – but there are also a number of categories below these tiles too, including Body Measurements, Health Records, Reproductive Health, Vitals, Results and Heart.

Each of these categories allow you to input health data relating to each manually, or they will pull the information from compatible health and fitness apps and other smart devices. Data that the Health app has relating to each category will appear as a card like it does in the Today tab when you tap on the specific category.

Missing data – such as Lean Body Mass in Body Measurements for example – appears below under a section called “No Recorded Data” if the data isn’t available to collect from anywhere. Tapping on a missing metric will allow you to add it manually by tapping the “+” in the top right corner.

Each section of data under each category – such as Body Fat Percentage under Body Measurements – offers granular privacy and setting controls, allowing you to decide whether you want to share specific data with specific sources. You can also favourite a section within a category when you click on it, as well as see which sources are providing the information.

Tip: Tapping on the Health Data tab at the bottom of the screen when in a section of a category will bring you back to the main home page of the Health Data tab.

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Sources

The Sources tab allows you to see all app requests you have approved to share data with the Health app.

An app will only send you a request if it is capable of collecting and serving up health data. If you accept a request, the categories within the Health Data tab will begin pulling relevant health data from the respective app.

Once the Health app receives health data from the compatible app, your Dashboard will display the information in an easy-to-read visual.

Medical ID

The Medical ID tab gives you the option to ‘Create a Medical ID’ the first time you open it. Your Medical ID is a complete profile of your basic medical records, and it’s particularly useful to first responders or paramedics, as well as anyone with the need for emergency access to information about you, such as allergies. Enabling the feature allows anyone to view your Medical ID profile just by swiping from your iPhone lock screen and tapping Emergency and then Medical ID.

You can fully configure Medical ID to include your custom picture, name, date of birth, medical conditions, notes, allergies, reactions, and medications. Simply start adding details under each section, or tap Edit in the top right-hand corner in order to start adding details. You’ll need to hit ‘Done’ when you’ve finished adding.

You can also add emergency contacts. You’ll be able to choose from your phone contacts and add the relationship of the person to you. There are also fields for blood type, height and weight, as well as whether you are an organ donor.

If you should change your mind about having such sensitive information available from the lock screen, all the details in your Medical ID profile can be deleted via the ‘Delete Medical ID’ button at the bottom of the editing page. You can also toggle off the ‘Show When Locked’ option when on the editing page.

Keep in mind you’re also able to go back into the Medical ID tab of the Health app to make changes at any time.

What apps and devices are compatible with Apple Health?

There are numerous apps and devices compatible with Apple Health. Here are some of worth using:

  • 7 Minute Workout
  • AutoSleep
  • Beddit 3 Sleep Tracker
  • Carrot Fit
  • Clue
  • Endomondo
  • Garmin Connect
  • Glow
  • Golfshot Plus
  • Lifesum
  • Map My Run
  • Misfit
  • My Diet Coach
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Nike+ Run Club
  • One Drop
  • Pacer Pedometer
  • Runtastic
  • Runkeeper
  • Strava
  • Weight Watchers
  • WebMD
  • Withings Health Mate
  • Qardio Heart Health

Tip: To see which apps you have granted access to the Health app: Open Settings > Privacy > Health. Alternatively, open the Health app > Tap on the Sources tab. Apps with access will appear at the top, devices will appear at the bottom.

Is your data safe?

Apple has included granular controls in the Health app that allows you to decide whether you want to share your weight from a weight-tracking app, for instance, with another health app.

This is what Apple says about Apple Health and privacy: “When your phone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, all of your health and fitness data in the Health app – other than your Medical ID – is encrypted.

“Your health data stays up to date across all your devices automatically using iCloud, where it is encrypted while in transit and at rest. Apps that access HealthKit are required to have a privacy policy, so make sure you review these policies before providing apps with access to your health and fitness data.”

The New Fantastical Review

Apple’s Health app first debuted in 2014 as part of iOS 8. In the five years since its launch, Health has been one of the only iOS apps to receive redesigns every couple of years. The basic purpose of the app has remained the same through those changes, still serving as an aggregation tool for wellness data from sources like the Apple Watch to third-party apps and devices. However, Health’s regular reimagining serves as strong evidence that Apple has never quite felt content with how that original goal was being fulfilled.

It may be too early to cast judgment, but I have a strong suspicion that this year’s rebrand will stick. iOS 13’s Health app finally brings a design that feels intuitive and user-friendly, doing away with complication and creating a streamlined, inviting interface. Simultaneously, this year’s update adds compelling new features related to cycle tracking and hearing health that may hint at an evolving vision for the Health app’s future.

Design

The original Health app, besides suffering from a serious stumble out of the gate, felt overly complicated in its design. An assortment of different screens and graphs were available for viewing each data point, spread across separate Dashboard, Health Data, and Sources tabs and breakdowns by Day, Week, Month, and Year. It was a lot to navigate, and felt especially like overkill at the time because HealthKit-integrated sources were few and far between in the pre-Apple Watch days.

The Health app in iOS 8.

After two years of iterative improvements, Health received its first true redesign in iOS 10. Health Data became the new primary tab, headlined by four colorful featured sections laid out in a grid. Behind these featured Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, and Sleep banners you could find a video Apple created for each subject, highlighting its importance for personal wellness. Underneath these four highlighted areas, the Health Data tab also listed certain key categories like Body Measurements, Health Records, Reproductive Health, and more. Besides these changes, the Dashboard screen was renamed Today, and given a fresh look for displayed data. Sources and Medical ID tabs remained as-is without notable changes.

Health in iOS 10 highlighted certain default wellness areas.

In iOS 13 Apple introduces the second redesign to Health, and it’s a good one. Everything has been simplified and streamlined, features like favorite data points work like they always should have, and the addition of App Store-style articles make education a more prominent function of Health than before. The app looks better than ever too, thanks to icon and typography tweaks that give Health a more fun, modern flavor.

iOS 13’s Health app in light and dark modes.

The new Health app contains only two navigation tabs: Summary and Browse. Summary hosts a variety of content sections, including a dashboard view of each data type you’ve labeled a favorite, a new Highlights area that displays interesting overviews of your recent data, a Get More From Health section featuring articles and suggested features to take advantage of, and lastly Summary includes a few recommended HealthKit apps to try.

The Summary screen reminds me of what Apple did last year with the Reading Now tab inside Apple Books. In Reading Now, Apple mixed together a variety of content sections such as the books you’re currently reading, your Want to Read collection, For You recommendations, and more. Reading Now was meant as a one-stop destination for your book-related needs, and Summary serves the same purpose in Health. While previous versions of Health were more fragmented, with the Summary screen Apple puts all the data you might want in one place, and sprinkles it with niceties like the new articles and feature suggestions. You can always tap through the different content that Summary surfaces to get more detail, but what’s available from the root page is a fantastic overview that eliminates much of the need to explore other parts of the app.

Favorites can be managed all in one place.

As I mentioned, favorites sit at the top of the Summary screen, finally receiving the place of prominence I’ve always thought they deserved. Each favorited data type shows the latest inputted data, and you can tap through to see the full page for that type with graphs, educational info, and more. Tapping the Edit button in the top-right of the Favorites section lets you view all data types and favorite them from one place. The one missing feature is the ability to reorder favorites so they display in the order you choose – currently that’s impossible.

The new Favorites section is far and away the change I appreciate most in this release, because it meets almost every need I have when opening Health. Apple’s previous attempts at a central Health screen always came up short. In the original Health app, data on the Dashboard was essentially the equivalent of Favorites, but the way that data was visualized wasn’t very user friendly. In iOS 10’s redesign, the current favorites system was introduced, but there was no way to view all favorite data in one place. The Health Data screen required tapping into each data type, where you’d see favorite selections at the top of their categories, but they were all isolated from each other. The Today screen in iOS 10 wasn’t a good substitute either, because it wouldn’t show data older than the current day. With the Favorites section in iOS 13’s Health update, all data points you care about can live in one place, showing their most recent data whether it’s a month old, a week old, or was just added.

Summary features a variety of dynamic content.

Below Favorites, the Highlights section surfaces graphs and charts that display relevant comparisons of recent health data. For example, you might see a highlight comparing the number of stair flights you climbed last week versus the week beforehand, or showing your average distance walked at certain points during the day. Summary only displays a few highlights at once, but you can tap the Show All Highlights option to dive deeper into the data at any time.

The remainder of Summary offers a grab bag of feature suggestions under the banner Get More From Health, like recommending you check out Health Records, along with articles by Apple’s Health team, and a few third-party apps worth checking out. Articles are the most significant addition because they’re entirely new in iOS 13.

Articles in the iOS 13 Health app.

Health’s educational articles adopt a design similar to the Today stories in the App Store, making them feel very familiar. The current number of articles is extremely limited, with Apple focusing its efforts on articles for two of the new data categories in iOS 13, Cycle Tracking and Hearing Health. I expect we’ll see more articles added over time though, following the trend of these initial stories by providing accessible education on important subjects. You’ll see a couple articles featured on the Summary page, but you can also find stories on their respective data type pages.

Now that Apple carries a staff of doctors working on Health, Apple Watch, and related endeavors, the addition of education-related materials feels like a logical next step for the Health app. It’s one thing to have access to important data, and another thing entirely to understand how to interpret that data. I hope Apple eventually offers articles for every data category in Health.

The only other navigation tab in iOS 13’s Health is Browse, which is headed by a search bar but mostly consists of the various data categories you can explore, including a special section for Health Records. If there’s data you access infrequently and thus don’t want to favorite, you can find it in Browse, but most of the time you shouldn’t need to use this tab.

Everything not found in either the Summary or Browse tabs lives behind your profile picture, which now resides in the top-right of each main view like it does in the App Store and TV apps. Tapping this provides access to your Health Profile, Medical ID, HealthKit apps currently granted access to your data, and more. With the latter, you can easily see and manage specific permissions each app has without ever leaving Health.

Cycle Tracking

Long available through third-party apps, Apple has now built its own cycle tracking feature into iOS 13’s Health app. It enables logging various data points related to your period, such as flow level, basal body temperature, spotting, and symptoms like a headache or cramps.

When setting up cycle tracking for the first time, Health asks information about when your last period started, how long your period usually lasts, and the average length of your typical cycle. This information serves as a foundational reference point so Health can predict the start of your next period even before you begin regularly logging anything. After the setup process is complete, you’ll see a walkthrough of exactly how cycle tracking works in Health. The app explains its visual system, wherein a solid red dot on its cycle chart represents a day you logged your period, the addition of a purple dot means you logged a symptom or event too, lighter shaded red dots represent a prediction of flow, and finally, blue shading is used in Health to represent your likely fertile window.

Health’s walkthrough for cycle tracking.

After the setup and tutorial process is complete, you’ll see the main Cycle Tracking screen, which starts with the visual timeline I just detailed, wherein a week’s worth of days are displayed with the appropriate colored dots to represent activity or predictions. Next are convenient buttons for logging aspects of your cycle, and as you scroll down you’ll see dedicated sections for predictions, your cycle history, and educational information.

When logging data about your cycle, there are seven different categories you can log: Flow, Symptoms, Sexual Activity, Ovulation Test Result, Cervical Mucus Quality, Basal Body Temperature, and Spotting. Tap any one of these from the main cycle tracking screen and you’ll be brought into a card-like interface where each of the seven categories can be swiped through for logging relevant data. The system keeps things simple and user-friendly, and the card-swiping navigation is unique among other first-party iOS apps.

Logging data (left and center) and configuring options (right).

Health’s cycle tracking can offer predictions both for when your next period will start, and for your next fertile window. This information is visible throughout the cycle tracking screen, but it can also be delivered via push notifications if you’d like such proactive alerts. For your period, turning on notifications means you’ll not only be alerted to an upcoming period, but there will also be prompts to log data during your period. With fertility notifications, Health alerts you when it believes your fertile window is approaching. Each of these notifications is scheduled to deliver at 8 PM on the nights they’re needed.

What Apple has created with Health’s cycle tracking is more robust than the functionality offered for tracking any other kind of wellness data. Cycle tracking is a full-blown feature inside Health, with a variety of sub-features that enhance it – and it’s available not just on iPhone, but Apple Watch too. Though I’m guessing third-party cycle tracking apps may offer more functionality than what’s available in Health, Apple has nonetheless done something noteworthy here: cycle tracking shows how Apple’s vision for Health is expanding, moving the app from a mere data hub into a user-friendly, feature-driven tool for managing your health.

Hearing Health

Hearing health is another big new area of wellness tracking in the Health app. And like cycle tracking, hearing health encompasses not just a new data type that apps can record data for, but a suite of features that take advantage of existing hardware. With hearing health, Apple is shining a light on something that many of us never think about.

Under the banner of hearing health, the Health app can track a few different data points: Headphone Audio Levels, Environmental Sound Levels, Audiogram, and Noise Notifications. Of these, three out of four contain data that can be gathered without the need for a third-party app, using only the Apple hardware you own and the Health app; audiogram is the odd one out.

Headphone Audio Levels measures the A-weighted decibels of your headphone audio. This happens automatically, with no extra effort on the user’s part, but it works best when using Apple or Beats headphones. According to the explanatory text inside Health:

Audio played through other headphones or speakers connected via a wire can be estimated based on the volume of your device.

In other words, Apple and Beats devices can provide Health with more accurate, nuanced data, while measurements for all other headphone audio is simply based on your device’s volume setting. Still, in all cases you get data automatically saved without needing a third-party app or buying a new health accessory, which is great.

Apple highlights sound level classifications for education purposes.

My audio level data reveals that I typically listen right at the border of what’s recommended for sustained periods of time, at around 80dB. The app assigns your levels a ranking (OK or Loud), and also gives guidance based on World Health Organization recommendations for what exposure limit you should try to maintain for different levels. According to Health’s WHO-inspired chart, 80dB is fine for 40 hours every 7 days, but if my average level rose to 90dB, that would only be safe for 4 hours every 7 days.

Health also tracks your environmental sound levels, which are collected in the background by a paired Apple Watch. At regular points throughout the day (typically every 30 minutes while in use) your Watch will quickly sample the current noise level of your environment and save that data to Health. At WWDC when Apple first announced these environmental noise detection features, it stated that the Watch will never record or save any audio from its samplings.

Environmental sound levels aren’t the only way that hearing health takes advantage of an Apple Watch, though. Like cycle tracking, there’s actually a full-on Apple Watch companion app too. In this case it’s the Noise app, which builds on the Watch’s audio sampling by sending you a notification whenever noise levels appear high enough to have a negative impact on your hearing health. Every time you receive one of these notifications, the occurrence will be saved to the Health app under, you guessed it, the Noise Notifications category. I’m not sure how much more useful this is than just seeing environmental readings inside its own category, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have these significant noise events in their own section.

The Health app is changing.

Unless you’ve hardly used the app before, you won’t be able to miss Health’s redesign in iOS 13. It’s a big transformation that finally, for my uses at least, completely rights all the wrongs of previous versions. It’s a brilliant example of the power of iteration: Health’s interface at launch, and after its iOS 10 revamp, wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the elegant, accessible UI present in iOS 13. Judged on design alone, Health has finally grown up.

But there’s more at play in this update than a redesign. Importantly, Apple is pushing further into education with iOS 13’s update. App Store-style articles help provide added clarity around key wellness topics. What’s the first thing many of us do when we have a question about our health? Do a web search, of course. But search results typically are a mixed bag of information overload, unhelpful anecdotes, and even misinformation. I see a lot of potential for Apple to build out Health and its editorials as trusted sources for basic wellness education.

Finally, iOS 13 introduces cycle tracking and hearing health, two domains that could have been added as mere data points for third-party apps to populate. Instead, Apple has built a suite of features unlike what’s available for any other wellness category in the Health app. There’s a full cycle tracking system available right inside Health, accessible both on the iPhone and Apple Watch, and hearing health offers similar built-in functionality thanks to the Noise app in watchOS and integration with connected headphones. In the first few years of its life Apple seemed content to let the majority of the Health app’s data come from third-party sources, but now it’s starting to flex its ecosystem strength to make the app more powerful and accessible.

At the start of 2019 Tim Cook told an interviewer, quite remarkably, that he believes Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind will “be about health.” While the company has long leaned hard into a health angle for Apple Watch, the immense significance of such a statement cannot be overstated. Clearly Apple has big long-term plans for personal health. And I think it’s telling that in the year Tim Cook made that claim, Apple is shipping its biggest update to the Health app ever.

There’s nothing in iOS 13’s Health revision that directly merits Cook’s grand prediction, but if you take a step back and consider Health’s new user-friendly nature, push toward education, and ecosystem integration to effortlessly track your health, it’s a telling sign of what’s to come.

Health in iOS 13 is just the beginning.

Health app iPhone 5

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