View your medical records from dozens of hospitals on your iPhone

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Your health records from nearly 80 hospital can be collected so they're viewable on your iPhone.
Your health records from nearly 80 hospital can be collected so they're viewable on your iPhone.
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.

Rowing with Apple Watch is like two workouts in one. Time to grab an oar.

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Join the crew with Apple Watch
Join the crew with Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If running and swimming with Apple Watch don’t rock your boat, you should give rowing a try. It combines all the benefits of cardio and strength training, and you get to do it in a boat. OK, well you’re probably more likely to use a rowing machine at your local gym, but it’s still pretty cool.

The stats that Apple Watch’s built-in Workout app provides for rowers are very limited, so you might want to consider third-party alternatives. Plus, it takes some practice to develop a good rowing technique. But it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will rowing help build a ripped physique. Without this essential skill, you might one day find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms tracking is coming to Apple Watch

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is getting better at tracking Parkinson's disease.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of MacYour Apple Watch will soon be able to track symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, thanks to a new API from Apple.

Details of Apple’s big software updates are still flowing out of the San Jose convention center as Apple dives into the details during sessions. During its session on advances in research and card frameworks Tuesday the company revealed it’s developed a new Movement Disorder API that could be groundbreaking for people with the disease.

Strength is the missing Activity Ring. Here’s how you can close it.

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Strength training is currently Apple’s weakness
Strength training is currently Apple’s weakness
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Activity Rings on your Apple Watch don’t provide a complete picture of your fitness. There is one important ring missing: Strength. The Rock didn’t get ripped just by standing up once an hour. And both the Exercise and Move rings essentially measure the same thing: cardio.

As any fitness expert will tell you, an effective workout program should combine cardio with strength training. Here’s why strength is currently Apple Watch’s weakness, and how you can use third-party apps to make sure it isn’t yours as well.

Live blog: Apple’s first big product unveiling of 2018

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Apple Education Event invitation
Apple is focusing on students and teacher for its first keynote.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first big event of 2018 is practically here! Unlike most Apple keynotes, today’s “field trip” education-oriented event in Chicago won’t be streamed live.

Don’t worry. Cult of Mac will be in attendance and we’ll be live blogging everything with up-to-the-minute info on all the new goodies. Not only is Apple expected to preview some new educational software, but we could also see a new iPad, improved Apple Pencil and maybe even a new MacBook Air.

The keynote starts Tuesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. Central time. So save this page and get ready for Apple’s most mysterious event in years.

AirPods Pro! And the cool HealthKit gadgets you haven’t heard of, on The CultCast

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Oview Sperm tester
The HealthKit Sperm tester. Yup. That's a real thing.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

A reliable source says Apple is working on audiophile-grade headphones with built-in AirPods magic. AirPods Pro? SIGN US UP. Catch the discussion on The CultCast. And stay tuned for: How Apple plans to revolutionize healthcare; the cool, weird and wacky HealthKit gadgets you’ve never heard of; and we wrap up with pro-level whistling, rock accordion, and the best actors of all time in an all-new Get to Know Ur Cultist.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off any hosting plan.

Cool new HealthKit gadgets can measure practically anything

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Cool new HealthKit-compatible gadgets at MWC
New HealthKit gadgets make health and fitness easier than ever.
Photos: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Mobile World Congress 2018 BARCELONA, Spain — Smart sperm testers, body cavity inspectors, Bluetooth pillows, holographic jump ropes and contactless thermometers. It’s all just another day at Mobile World Congress, where more and more companies show off their new HealthKit-compatible gadgets.

If you want your iPhone to know absolutely everything about what’s going on with your body, these handy medical devices are for you. Here’s what they do — and why they’re cool.

Why it sucks when fitness apps don’t share your workout data with Apple

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Who owns your workout data?
Who owns your workout data?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The workout data I log with my Apple Watch belongs to me. It‘s not Apple’s — nor is it Nike’s, Strava’s or anyone else’s, for that matter. It is mine. I paid for it with my own blood, sweat and tears. (OK, it’s mostly sweat, but there were some tears along the way, too.) Over the years, I’ve logged more than 18,000 miles of running data and it is something I’m pretty proud of.

So it really bugs me when mega-corporations try to corral my activity data into their fancy walled gardens, like they think they own it. Apple used to be just as guilty of this as all the other workout rustlers. But the folks in Cupertino did a major pivot in iOS 11. They decided to actually put users in control of our workout data. Apple made it easy for apps to share workout route maps with each other via HealthKit.

The trouble is, none of the major fitness apps are playing ball, and that sucks. Luckily, some indie devs are doing the right thing.

Insurer offers latest Apple Watch for $25 – if you exercise

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apple watch
Health companies are embracing Apple Watch
Photo: Apple

Signing up for life insurance might just be one of the cheapest ways to get a new Apple Watch Series 3 now.

John Hancock revealed today that it is offering all of its new and existing life insurance customers the opportunity to earn an Apple Watch Series 3 for $25. All you have to do is put in the exercise to work for it.