Last-minute WWDC rumors include more on health, home and iBeacon

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It’s the eve of the Worldwide Developers Conference kickoff, and tomorrow morning Apple will hold its first media event of 2014. Like always, there’s a ton of speculation on what will and won’t be announced.

Some last-minute reports share new information on what to expect from the stage tomorrow in more areas than just iOS 8 and OS X 10.10.

Of the new features rumored in iOS 8, the most anticipated one is Healthbook. First reported by 9to5Mac, Healthbook is expected to be Apple’s all-in-one tool for tracking calories, heart rate, sleep activity, steps taken, and more.

But without a sensor-laden iWatch to power it, the biggest question is how will Healthbook get the data it needs? According to The New York Times, “The health app will initially pull data from third-party fitness and health-monitoring hardware.” It will also “most likely be able to connect with a smart watch that Apple is widely expected to release this year.”

Makes sense. Until Apple has its own hardware for Healthbook to hook into, let fitness trackers like the Nike Fuelband have at it. Apple has a strong partnership with Nike (Tim Cook is on Nike’s board of directors too), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nike mentioned on stage at some point tomorrow.

Another new thing Apple is rumored to have up its sleeve relates to the world of smart home gadgets and appliances. It has been reported that Apple will introduce a certification program for such devices at WWDC. The Times adds that there could be new “tool kits for developers that would allow apps to more easily communicate with home appliances.” Sounds like something to go along with iOS 8.

Lastly, The Wall Street Journal has a new report on Apple’s plans for iBeacon, the location-based sensor technology it introduced at last year’s WWDC. The Journal notes that “the technology is still in its infancy and might not take hold broadly for many years,” but it “promises to do for indoor spaces what GPS did for the outdoors.”

There aren’t really any details in the report about what specific changes to iBeacon Apple has up its sleeve for tomorrow, other than it will “reveal more iBeacon plans.”

Apple will be providing a livestream of tomorrow’s keynote on its website, and the Cult of Mac liveblog will be following along with pithy reactions and expert analysis. Stay tuned.

  • Rodney Gordon

    “Let fitness trackers like the Nike Fuelband have at it” BLAST! If only they hadn’t fired all their staff and ceased manufacturing of that product.

  • http://webdesy.com/ Vitaliy Kolos

    I guess Apple did not mention anything about iBeam today. So, what are all these predictions worth of? :)

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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