Why HealthKit needs an iCloud upgrade [Cult of Mac Magazine 353]

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Adding iCloud integration to HealthKit would be a game-changer.
Adding iCloud integration to HealthKit would be a game-changer.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Giving HealthKit an iCloud injection would make Apple’s health-tracking framework much more powerful. Will this be the year Apple takes HealthKit to the next level?

Find out why it should be, in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. You can download it now from the iOS App Store. Grab it now and get the week’s top Apple news, including some juicy new bits about what’s coming next from Cupertino’s product pipeline.

P.S. Don’t miss the big Father’s Day Sale in the Cult of Mac Store.

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.

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.

Form’s AR swim goggles blow Apple Watch out of the water [Review]

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Will AR swim goggles replace Apple Watch in the pool?
Now you can check your heart rate while you are swimming
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Fitness tech startup Form launches its first product today: augmented reality swimming goggles.

You might think AR sounds like a bit of a gimmick for swimmers. I certainly did. My Apple Watch already does a pretty good job of logging my swimming workouts, so I didn’t see the need for yet another gadget.

But after testing a pair of Form Swim Goggles for the past month, I’m so impressed that I’ll never use my Apple Watch in the pool again.

iOS 13 wish list: Giving health & fitness a workout

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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.

6 Apple Watch apps for an awesome six-pack

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Want a more defined core? Your Apple Watch can help.
Want a more defined core? Your Apple Watch can help.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

For many guys wanting to get in shape, a chiseled six-pack is the ultimate goal. But achieving that iconic washboard look is not easy. Especially as you get older.

Fortunately, your Apple Watch can help you along the way to achieving a tighter core. Apple’s Health app, Activity app and even the Breathe app have a role to play. Here’s how to get a six-pack with a little help from your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple brings veterans’ health records into 21st century

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Apple Health Records veterans
It’s a first for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Photo: Apple

Apple today confirmed that the Health Records feature on iPhone will soon be available to veterans.

The company is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that, for the first time, U.S. veterans receiving care through the Veterans Health Administration will have access to their health records directly on their iPhone.

Apple hires famous OB-GYN to boost women’s health efforts

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christine curry
Dr. Christine Curry at her old office in Florida.
Photo: Sammy Mack/WLRN

Apple might be planning to come out with some new health features that are specifically geared toward women, based on the company’s newest big hire.

Dr. Christine Curry — an obstetrician-gynecologist that made a name for herself by treating women with the Zika virus — has reportedly been hired by Apple to bolster its women’s health projects.

How to sync your Apple workouts to Strava automatically

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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

Your shiny new Apple Watch is great for logging workouts. But it comes up short when you want to review your training progress and share your workout history with friends. Everything gets bundled in the Activity and Health apps on your iPhone, which are pretty basic.

That’s where third-party apps like Strava come in. Strava offers all the essential fitness analytics that Apple overlooks. The trouble is, Strava’s watch app sucks for logging workouts.

If only you could have the best of both worlds: logging your workouts with Apple’s excellent built-in Workout app, then syncing the data automatically to Strava. Well, thanks to a brilliant indie app called HealthFit, you can.

View your medical records from dozens of hospitals on your iPhone

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Health records firm worried policy supported by Apple will hurt patients
Health records firm worried policy supported by Apple will hurt patients
Photo: Apple

The goal of Apple’s Health Records initiative is to enable iOS users to see their medical history right on their device. Hospitals need to share their data for this to work, and Apple is getting a strong response.

When Apple introduced this addition to the Health app in January, there were just a dozen hospitals and clinics participating. That number has grown dramatically in the intervening months.