Apple has been collecting the health data of the users of their products since the launch of the iPhone 5s, which premiered with the M8 processor.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus come with the next generation of the same processor- the M8. The M8 does what the M7 can do and can also measure elevation. This means that it can tell how many flights of stairs you have climbed in a day.

During the recent launch of the iOS 8.2 and Apple Watch, Apple announced that the Health app had received a couple of updates with plenty of optimizations and bug fixes. Here is the list of changes:

HealthKit Changelog

  • You can now select the unit of measurement for weight, body temperature, blood glucose and distance.
  • You can add and visualize your workout sessions from 3rd party apps
  • The issue that prevented users from adding a profile photo in Medical ID has been addressed.
  • Units for minerals and vitamins have been fixed
  • The issue that prevented changes in health data after adjustments had been made to the data source order has been fixed
  • The issue that caused graphics not to display data values has been sorted out
  • A privacy setting that makes it possible to turn off tracking of distance, steps and flights climbed has been added.

The Health app is still in its nascent stages and has quite a long way to go in terms of ease of use. It is difficult to figure out and use the app. Many people do not even have the slightest idea on what it does and how to use it. Below is a guide on what it does.

What the Health App Does

In principle, the Health app is brilliant. It is meant to be a centralized dashboard or hub for all your personal health data from a plethora of third party health apps. The apps include wireless body scales, sleep monitors, run trackers, and others.  The idea is to have all these apps feed all your health data to one central location and save you the hustle of opening all the separate apps. The app operates under the HealthKit framework, which comes with the iOS 8.2. The Health app also allows other apps to access various aspects of your health from other apps so that they can have a clearer view of your overall health.

As previously mentioned, Apple has not done a very good job with the app and it still feels somewhat sophomoric. It is not easy to figure out and it is even harder to manage your data. While the dashboard cards are an awesome idea, they are not all that helpful. A good example is the “Active Calories” card. It is hard for the user to figure out what exactly it means and there is no explanation for it.

While the app still has lots of hitches, it can be a huge success given time as the idea is excellent. Apple will make improvements with time; so you might as well get the hang of it right now.