It was rumored earlier that iOS 8 will be an assemblage of state of the art features; one of those features will be a health application called Healthbook. As we can see in iOS 8 Beta 3, the health application can now use the M7 motion tracking hardware. The M7 coprocessor is a signature technology by Apple which runs devices like iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
A screenshot of iPhone 5 running iOS 8 Beta was taken. iPhone 5 doesn’t allow on-phone tracking because M7 coprocessor was embedded with iPhone 5S. If you have an iPhone that’s older than 5S, you need to use HealthKit support from third party fitness device manufacturers. Another thing you can do is to follow the Health app UI and enter the steps manually.
The M7 coprocessor made its debut in 2013. The hardware can process large chunk of raw data from the on-board sensor suite of iOS device more efficiently and with increased accuracy. If M7 coprocessor is not activated, A7 SoC needs to be used which consumes a lot of power. iPhone 5S users reported their device could gather information from sensor applications like accelerometer and gyroscope with affecting the battery life.
The M7 coprocessor will play an even more important role in iPhone 6. iPhone 6 will reportedly use 2GHz core-clock A8 SoC processor which will consume more power than A7. As iPhone 6 will run on iOS 8, users will utilize Healthbook. So there will be a huge amount of data to track. To offload the data without impacting the battery life, advanced hardware like M7 coprocessor will be needed.
The M7 coprocessor can automatically fill in the health app with a whole week of data. This functionality was tested by 9to5mac. The cleared all the data to 0 steps and the raw sensor data tracking functionality resumed. The app lets users sort data by day, week, month and even year. Although the app automatically tracks steps, if a user wants, he can remove the steps from the app. That’s not all, users can share the tracked data with other apps.
The health app has another surprise in its store for users. It allows users to measure the amount of caffeine. Medical science has proved over consumption of caffeine causes negative effects on health. If a person can monitor the amount of caffeine, he’ll consume it accordingly. The health app will reportedly integrate with third party apps to track caffeine amount. Currently there are apps like UP Coffee from Jawbone, which offers this functionality.
The health app has a Medical ID section which is basically to alert users for emergency. A red navigational bar has been added to it so users could see it easily.
All in all, we can expect major improvements, when the full version of iOS 8 will release. For people suffering from heart-disease and diabetes, the Healthbook could be significantly beneficial. In fact, we won’t be surprised if doctors starts prescribing their patients an iOS device with regular medicines.