iOS 8 beta 3 now allows Apple’s Health app to access the iPhone’s M7 motion coprocessor, letting the app track movement like most fitness trackers do without having to buy any extra accessories. The M7 motion coprocessor functions alongside the A7 chip and is only available in newer models of iPhones and iPads, namely the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini with Retina.
The “Steps” section now counts the number of steps taken using the M7 motion coprocessor. The M7 motion coprocessor has been used by many different third-party apps, such as Nike’s fitness tracking app for example, but this is the first time data gathered from the coprocessor has been made available from Apple’s own Health app. It is also the first time the data has been able to be integrated since the release of the first beta.
The Health app also has a new “Caffeine” section in the Nutrition portion of the Health Data tab. It will be able to track how much caffeine a user consumes.
The Health app is pretty limited right now, but by the time iOS 8 is released in the fall, many device manufacturers and app developers will probably have built devices and apps that will integrate HealthKit into their apps, allowing the Health app to gather data from multiple sources into a single place. The Health app is also rumored to be heavily tied to Apple’s upcoming fitness tracking wearable, the iWatch.
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