Apple unwraps ‘Healthkit’ alongside Mac, iPhone features

Apple unwraps ‘Healthkit’ alongside Mac, iPhone features

6:05pm EDT

By Christina Farr and Edwin Chan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Monday took the wraps off mobile applications that pool and analyze health and home data, kicking off an annual developers’ conference lacking in big surprises, despite hopes the iPhone maker would offer a glimpse into its secretive pipeline of products.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and software-engineering boss Craig Federighi told several thousand developers about new features that come with the latest “Yosemite” Mac platform and iOS8, the software that powers the iPhone and iPad.

Apple shares slid 0.7 percent to close at $628.65.

Investors are waiting for Cook to keep a promise to create new product categories. Last week, Internet services chief Eddy Cue said the pipeline was the best he had seen in more than two decades.

“The Healthkit has the most potential for the future,” said Nils Kassube, a director of development at Newscope, a Germany-based consulting firm. “Those of us that are interested in health need a platform for sharing information.”

On Monday, executives talked about “Healthkit,” which will pull together data such as blood pressure and weight now collected by a growing number of healthcare apps on the iPhone or iPad. The company also announced an app, dubbed “Health” that will be an integral part of iOS 8.

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 in the latest mobile software.

“That information lives in silos,” said Federighi. “You can’t get a single comprehensive picture.”

Apple did not elaborate on other capabilities. The news follows Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s announcement of its own mobile health-data product. [ID:nL1N0OE24O]

Federighi also described “homekit,” a feature that allows an Apple device to control everything from lights to temperature.

COURTSHIP

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.

Apple described how “Yosemite” will come with a much-improved Internet storage application similar to those provided by Box or Dropbox; how users can pick up calls to iPhones from their Macs; and how Apple devices would sync constantly with each other, allowing users to pick up on their Mac where they left off on their iPhone.

While few cutting-edge consumer devices or features were unveiled, analysts said Apple’s focus this year was providing tools to developers such as a new programming language called “Swift” that it said was more efficient.

“These developers are sort of make or break for Apple,” said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett. “You have a growing variety of systems where you need developers and content creators to make great stuff for Apple.”

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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