Earlier this year Apple announced HealthKit, a new API exclusive to iOS 8 that lets iPhone developers access health and exercise data. Though it looked slick, the company remained mum about its obvious, absent partner; the Apple Watch.
Update: Apple has announced that due to a bug, third party apps won’t be able to take advantage of HealthKit until the end of the month. Technically that shouldn’t stop iOS 8 from tracking your activity, you just might have to wait a bit longer to use the data.
What Is HealthKit?
Apple has stated, for example, that HealthKit information cannot be used for advertising or data-mining, and cannot be shared with third parties unless user consent is given. Apps that don’t follow the guidelines, either intentionally or through poor implementation of the HealthKit API, will be rejected from the App Store.
Third-party developers are also barred from storing HealthKit data in the cloud. While this may restrict some functionality, it will help keep data secure. Apple will let your iPhone and Watch share data over a local network, providing connectivity similar to iCloud.
Where Does HealthKit’s Data Come From?
The data stored by the new API can come from a variety of sources. You’ll need to enter a few items manually using the Health app or third-party apps that have access to the API. This includes your medical conditions (if any), your blood type and your primary care physician.