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


Low Cardio Fitness Notifications are about your lungs as well as your heart
Low Cardio Fitness notifications are about your lungs as well as your heart.
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


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


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


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


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 …


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


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


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.

Activ5 pocket-size gym muscles into the Apple store


Activebody’s Activ5
Activ5 and your iPhone can help build strength through isometric exercises.
Photo: Activebody

Activebody’s Activ5 is a palm-size accessory for isometric-based workouts. Along with companion iPhone and Apple Watch apps, it lets users exercise anywhere.

Apple approves of this workout gear enough to put Activ5 in its stores.

iOS 13 wish list: Giving health & fitness a workout


Will Apple move workouts to iCloud so you can browse them on any device?
Will Apple move workouts to iCloud so you can browse them on any device?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

WWDC is less than a week away and there are already plenty of rumors doing the rounds on what new features Apple has in store for iOS and watchOS. Dark mode, a refreshed Reminders app and a new Find My app all look set to make an appearance.

But will Apple also be giving its operating systems a shot in the arm to improve their health and fitness as well? Here’s my top-ten wish list of announcements I’m hoping to hear during next week’s keynote. These features will get my pulse racing so fast it’ll trigger a heart rate warning on my Apple Watch.