Get moving with iPhone’s stealth fitness feature [Cult of Mac Magazine 389]

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Learn to use Mobility Metrics, the iPhone's stealth fitness feature.
Your iPhone knows more about how you walk than you do.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

There’s an interesting new feature in iOS 14 that you might never have noticed. It’s called Mobility Metrics, and it tracks several things that offer insight into your overall fitness, coordination and health. Find out where to look for these metrics, and what to make of them, in our in-depth Mobility Metrics how-to.

Also in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine, we’ve got several hot rumors about upcoming Apple gear (and a possible March 16 event), plus loads of Apple TV+ reviews and first looks at upcoming shows. Download it now to enjoy on your iOS device.

P.S. If you’re a fan of Apple lore, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Del Yocam, the company’s first COO and a mentor to Steve Jobs. He’s got some interesting stories to tell.

How to use Mobility Metrics in iOS 14

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New mobility metrics in the iOS Health app provide essential data on how you’re walking.
New mobility metrics in the iOS Health app provide essential data on how you’re walking.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The new Mobility Metrics feature that Apple added in iOS 14 offers important insights into your health and fitness. Using its built-in sensors and some extremely smart software, the iPhone in your hip pocket captures data and analyzes how you walk at all times. Then, the Health app serves up seven key measurements that provide an overall picture of your strength, coordination and cardiovascular health.

Even if you don’t experience any mobility difficulties, you might still be interested to see what these new stats reveal about the way you walk.

Cardio Fitness: What Apple’s new health metric means and how you can use it

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Most of the interesting stuff in your body happens in your core, not on your wrist.
Most of the interesting stuff in your body happens in your core, not on your wrist.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple’s VOmax metric measures the performance of your heart and lungs when you push yourself to the limit. Up until now, though, it’s only been useful to serious fitness fanatics. No wonder Apple buried it in the Health app, where most users never found it.

But watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3, which Apple released Monday, change all that. In those updates, the VOmax metric has been renamed Cardio Fitness. Now it can detect lower ranges and send alerts when the reading gets too low. That makes it the latest in a series of potentially life-saving health notifications from Apple Watch.

Here’s everything you need to know to get the benefit of this essential new feature.

Apple should take this Mac Health app concept to heart

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This Health for Mac concept expands the app beyond iOS.
Is it time to port the iPhone Health app to Mac? A concept artist thinks so.
Photo: Jordan Singer

A concept artist shows what the iPhone’s Health application could look like after being redesigned for Mac.

Currently, this software is only for iOS. There’s not even an iPad version. This concept, created in SwiftUI, hopes to convince Apple to change that.

HealthKit needs a health check at WWDC

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HealthKit on iCloud: Apple needs to step up its Health game.
Apple needs to step up its Health game.
Photo: Julia Ballew/Unsplash CC

As a fitness writer and app developer, there’s just one thing I’m hoping to see at WWDC next week: a major upgrade to HealthKit.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Apple’s health-tracking framework is great, but there’s so much more it could do. Moving HealthKit to iCloud would finally set Apple Watch free from its iPhone dependency, launch a brand-new Apple subscription service, enable users to access health and fitness data on all their devices, create a whole new class of TV fitness apps, and much, much more.

iOS 13.5 beta simplifies sharing medical ID info with emergency dispatchers

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iOS 13.5 beta 4 makes sharing medical ID a snap.
With iOS 13.5, your iPhone can share medical ID info with emergency dispatchers.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone and Apple Watch will soon make it easy to share medical ID information during emergency calls. Basic details like allergies and medications can be sent to a dispatcher during the call.

This feature appeared in iOS 13.5 developer beta 4, which debuted on Wednesday.

How to fix Apple Watch duplicate workouts

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Seeing double? Fixing duplicate Activity app workouts is easier than you think.
Seeing double? Fixing duplicate workouts is easier than you think.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Health app on your iPhone acts as a central repository for all your workout data. Not just activity from your Apple Watch, but from third-party apps, too.

That’s great, because it gives you the freedom to use any workout app you want, safe in the knowledge that it will still contribute to your Activity rings. But this flexibility can cause problems. When you use multiple apps or third-party devices, it can cause duplicate workouts. So let’s take a look at how Apple handles these duplicates, what impact they have on your Activity Rings, and how you can fix the problem.

Strava finally adds support for Apple’s Workout app. But there’s a big but …

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Strava is ready to play nice with Apple
Strava is ready to play nice with Apple
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Strava is a brilliant app for sharing your workouts and analyzing your fitness activity. But its Apple Watch app is not so great. That’s why I prefer to use Apple’s built-in Workout app and then view my data afterward on the Strava website.

The trouble is, up until now, the only way to do that was by relying on third-party apps such as HealthFit, which provide the missing link that syncs Apple’s workouts with Strava.

Strava has been promising to come up with a solution for years. And this week, the company finally delivered. It’s a huge step in the right direction, but I won’t be deleting HealthFit just yet. Here’s why.

How to edit Apple Watch workouts

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Apple Watch logged your workout wrong? You can still set the record straight.
Apple Watch logged your workout wrong? You can still set the record straight.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

When you finish logging a workout with Apple Watch, you can gloat over all your hard work in the Activity app on your iPhone. This provides all kinds of useful charts, maps and trends to show you how you’re doing.

But what if you logged that workout by accident? Or if you forgot to log a workout? You can’t edit Apple Watch workouts on your watch, nor in the Activity app on your iPhone. But fortunately, there is still a way to set the record straight. Here’s how to edit Apple Watch workouts.

Apple adds One Drop blood glucose monitor to store shelves

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one-drop
One Drop can predict blood glucose.
Photo: One Drop

Apple retail stores are expanding their lineup of health-related products with a blood glucose monitor that integrates with iPhone and Apple Watch.

One Drop might be the most beautifully designed blood glucose monitor we’ve ever seen. Its advanced health features though are what really set it apart from other products.