RunKeeper, Withings, Strava, & iHealth plan HealthKit integration, excited for medical industry tie-in

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Whenever Apple introduces a new feature baked into iOS that was previously a domain ruled by third-party apps like its new HealthKit platform and Health app in iOS 8, questions inevitably come up about how it will impact other developers and competing platforms. That’s why we were interested in finding out how some of the top fitness and health app developers and accessory makers are reacting to Apple’s HealthKit announcement.

We reached out to some of the big names in the health and fitness app world, as well as companies like Withings and iHealth that sell iOS-connected health and medical accessories such as blood pressure monitors through Apple stores. Not only did all of the companies we spoke with— RunKeeper, Withings, Strava, and iHealth— confirm they are already planning integration with their ecosystems, they also talked about how having one central location for users to manage health and fitness data will indeed be a good thing for the business.

RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs told me he’s excited that Apple is bringing “some of the other key players in the ecosystem (doctors, EMRs, etc) into the discussion” and confirmed both his RunKeeper and Breeze app will soon support Healthkit. Others are also excited for integration with the medical industry that currently uses a highly fragmented record keeping system for health data.

Here’s what they had to say: Read more

RunKeeper launches friendly fitness app “Breeze” for iPhone 5s users

FitnessKeeper, the makers of the GPS tracking and fitness monitoring app RunKeeper, is out with a new activity monitoring app called Breeze. Breeze is simple: it takes advantage of the M7 co-processor on the iPhone 5s that measures steps taken and presents the data in a clean, approachable user interface. Using that data, Breeze reminds you each morning how many steps you took the previous day so you start out motivated. Its activity monitor presents total steps taken each day and summarizes the number of steps and hours spent moving in total.
Read more

Opinion & poll: Will the iWatch be the key to a healthier, fitter you?

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The gadgetization of fitness has been a significant trend over the course of the past year. The wrists of anyone even vaguely into sports or exercise were suddenly adorned with the Nike Fuel Band, and our Facebook feeds full of RunKeeper and Strava reports of just how far our friends had jogged and cycled.

It seems pretty clear by this point that the iWatch will, when it appears, have a major focus on health and fitness. We don’t yet know exactly what it will measure, but I argued in an earlier opinion piece that it’s likely to measure more than any one of the devices currently available.

Will the old adage of ‘What gets measured gets managed’ apply, with all this data leading us to exercise more, eat more healthily and generally up our game fitness-wise? Or will it be a novelty that quickly wears off, with owners reverting to life as usual within a few weeks … ?  Read more

Apps: Google Maps, Temple Run: Oz, RunKeeper, BeatBlaster, Everpix, more

Temple Run: Oz: Developers of the Temple Run franchise have once again teamed up with Disney to release a game built on the Temple Run 2 engine but set in the world of an upcoming Disney film. This time Imangi Studios brings the Temple Run gameplay experience to the world of Oz in support of the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful film. The game is available for 99 cents now and features new gameplay elements you haven’t seen in past Temple Run titles.

NEW FEATURES
• Stunning environments inspired by the film – explore them all.
• Fly in a hot air balloon – earn even more coins.
• Explore different locations in Oz – follow sign posts!
• The environment changes as you run – test your reflexes.
• Compete in weekly challenges – beat your friends!

Google-Maps-Contacts-iOS

Google-maps-iconGoogle Maps version 1.1: Google Maps for iOS gets the ability to search Google Contacts, quickly access search for local places, and select between Kilometers or Miles. Google announced the new features in a blog post and also noted that it is rolling out the English version of the app to seven new countries including: Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Your Google Contacts are now integrated into Google Maps for iPhone – meaning that when you’re signed-in and search for a friend’s name, their address will appear as a suggestion (if you have their address saved). Simply tap their name to see the address, which will visible only to you, on the map. To learn an easy way to keep your Google Contacts synced with your iPhone, click here.

* Search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
* Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
* Choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.
* Note that some features may not be available in all countries.

RunKeeper version 3.1: Many new features for the popular RunKeeper iOS app today including a Night Mode, In-Activity Settings, and weight logging and visualization tools: Read more