Health and Other WWDC Announcements We’re Excited About

Apple announced a number of great features for Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 that has the mobile developer community buzzing. For instance, new features including a Snapchat-like functionality for iMessage or being able to Spotlight Search for the App Store. iOS 8 changes the game for developers once again.

Kunaal Arya from our App Partnerships team has some great coverage on iOS 8 how it changes App Store discoverability, make sure you check it out.

This post is for all the other stuff app developers should take notice of from WWDC. Here goes:

Health – WOW. We work with a lot of incredible fitness apps, including Argus, Nexercise, Fitocracy and Yoga Studio. We’ve seen firsthand some of the amazing data these apps collect in order to encourage healthy lifestyles. Apple’s new Health app consolidates information from each Health & Fitness app into a snapshot for users to easily access on their own iPhone.

Frankly, this app lacks the functionality to be much more than a weekly check-in. It feels more like a launchpad for something bigger in the future, not a stand-alone application. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple allows other apps outside of the health space to integrate with Health in the future.

“Could Any.DO report the # of tasks

I’ve finished on my to-do list per day?

I’m also wondering if Health could become a dashboard for any piece of personal information you’d like to have access to via one tap. Could Any.DO report the # of tasks I’ve finished on my to-do list per day? Could Tempo feed in data on the number of minutes I’ve spent in meetings each week? Imagine Health opening its doors to Mint and attributing high stress levels to someone’s financial situation. Apple will have to prove to users that syncing their app data is worth the time and a feature of value, rather than becoming another stock Apple app nobody uses.

One element of Health that excites me is the ability for users to share data from one health app to another. Apple calls this HealthKit. Overall, it makes every app more useful to the user, but I do anticipate this will level the playing field when it comes to health & fitness data collection. Once again, I think the lines get a little blurry on what constitutes relevant Health info and what does not. There are some great opportunities for data sharing partnerships between apps in different spaces.

Personally, I’d like to see Runkeeper work with Lift so that my daily exercise goal is automatically set to “achieved” once I’ve completed a run. Or even All Recipes working with Argus to automatically log the food I’ve cooked into my activity tracker/calorie counter.

3 Other Features That Are Super Cool

1) Touch ID – This gives developers the ability to leverage the fingerprint recognition technology in the iPhone 5s (and presumably all future devices) to unlock apps. This has some great enterprise use cases.

2) HomeKit – This is just plain awesome. It essentially turns Siri into Jarvis from Iron Man allowing control of connected devices using only your voice.

3) Custom Actions – Many of my favorite apps leverage the share functionality that was built into older versions of iOS 7. But those share options were limited. Now developers can use functions from other apps without ever leaving the original app.

Did we miss any that you’re excited about? Sound off in the comments section below or let me know @ryanlessard.

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