Apple pushing harder into the health and fitness space

Lot’s of announcements from Apple’s WWDC2023 event in Cupertino last week. And whilst the Vision Pro headset was centre stage, I was particularly interested in their moves in the Fitness App space. Given Bit Fitter and my growing portfolio of mobile apps, then found much to like in what they had to say. So what…

Lot’s of announcements from Apple’s WWDC2023 event in Cupertino last week. And whilst the Vision Pro headset was centre stage, I was particularly interested in their moves in the Fitness App space. Given Bit Fitter and my growing portfolio of mobile apps, then found much to like in what they had to say. So what have they announced?

Most significantly the revealed plans to focus on cycling, with new Apple Watch functionality that can deliver similar results to specialised cycling computers. Watch out Garmin and Wahoo.

The Apple watch can now connect to Bluetooth-enabled accessories such as speed and cadence sensors, meaning cycling workouts can take over the entire watch face, making it more effective as a handlebar display. 

The Watch and iPhone can both now also estimate Functional Threshold Power (FTP) – the highest average power output that can be sustained over a one hour time frame on a bike.

Other health and fitness functionality was also announced and users can now receive insights into their health data with the Trends and Highlights option, while health and fitness developers can use HealthKit on iPad, opening up new opportunities to create health and fitness experiences that incorporate data that users choose to share from the Health app, with privacy and data security protocols in place.

The new version of Apple Fitness+ comes with Custom Plans workout functionality on board. This is a new way for consumers to receive a custom workout or meditation schedule based on the day, the duration of exercise and the workout type.

There’s also a feature called Stacks, which enables users to select multiple workouts and meditations to do back to back and ‘Audio Focus’, which gives users the ability to prioritise the volume of the music or the trainers’ voice during on-demand workouts from the Custom Plans system.

In addition to ramping up its cycling and group exercise functionality, the company also announced new health features for its operating systems and Apple Watch.

A mental health feature on the Apple Watch enables users to log their emotions and moods through journaling, to gain insights, while also accessing assessments and resources. 

New vision health features encourage healthy behaviours that can reduce the risk of eye strain and Apple has added its Health app to the iPad, giving users access to their health data. 

Other Health features announced during the event enable consumers to view their available health records from multiple institutions and share data stored in the Health app with loved ones or medical professionals using Health Sharing. 

Featuring visionOS, the first spatial operating system, Vision Pro lets users interact with digital content in a way that makes it feel physically present in their space. 

Apple also revealed that developers generated US$1.1Tr of value in the Apple Store ecosystem in 2022.

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