Apple vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi demonstrates the new Yosemite operating system. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Apple took the wraps off a mobile application that can
collect and analyse users' health data, part of a suite of
new features outlined for its computing and mobile software,
at its annual developers' conference.
Called "Healthkit," it will pull together data such as blood
pressure and weight, collected by a growing plethora of
healthcare apps on the iPhone or iPad, Apple executives told
The company will work in tandem with Nike Inc, a major player
in fitness tracking, and the Mayo Clinic on the new feature,
which will be included with the latest versions of Apple's
"That information lives in silos," said Craig Federighi,
Apple's senior vice president of software engineering. "You
can't get a single comprehensive picture."
Apple, which will discuss new software features with the
thousands of developers gathered in San Francisco this week,
did not elaborate on Healthkit's features and capabilities.
The news follows arch-rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's
announcement last week of a mobile health-data store called
SAMI (Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions).
It is unclear how Apple will promote Healthkit. Samsung plans
to market SAMI by hosting a developer challenge and setting
aside a $50 million fund for early-stage digital health
Monday's event in downtown San Francisco, an annual
pilgrimage of sorts for the large and growing Apple developer
community, was short of major surprises.
Apple has one of the most dedicated software communities in
the tech industry, with more than 9 million registered
developers. Every year, the iPhone maker and rival Google Inc
, whose Android mobile devices comprise an estimated
four-fifths of all smartphones sold globally, show the latest
software enhancements to thousands of prospective developers.
Chief Executive Tim Cook, opening Apple's conference on
Monday, said the iPhone maker has sold more than 800 million
mobile devices. Some 130 million customers bought their first
Apple mobile device in the past 12 months, he added.
Apple described how its latest "Yosemite" Mac software, which
comes on the heels of its well-reviewed "Mavericks" release,
will come with a new Internet storage application, and allow
users to pick up calls and see text messages relayed to
Computer users would also be able to call up maps, search for
information or look up documents by typing directly onto
their home screens.