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Apple's Health app really needs a redesign

Kirk McElhearn | March 16, 2015
Apple is touting the Apple Watch using three main arguments. The first is that it keeps time, and is accurate to within 50 milliseconds. (I'm so relieved by the fact that a watch in 2015 can be accurate, aren't you?) The second is the "fun, spontaneous ways" you can communicate with "your favorite people." And the third is probably the best selling point, given the way people have used wearables up until now: it offers "a smarter way to look at fitness."

You can see your activity in half-hour slices, see how it measures up to your daily goal, and also see distances, calories burned, and more.

In the absence of a usable dashboard in the Health app, you may want to go for a third-party tool. The $2 FitPort pulls in data from the Health app and displays it in a more readable manner. You can set daily goals for each of the metrics it displays, and circles will show you how close you are to those goals. FitPort also gives you much better views of data from past days than the Health app does.

Apple's Health app records a lot of data, but presents it is the wrong way. Different data sources could benefit from different displays, and, at a minimum, they could offer more than just straight line graphs. In addition, the choice of white fonts on often light colored backgrounds makes it hard to read, and the lack of daily goals limits its use. I hope that Apple can reproduce the attractive interface on the Apple Watch in a new version of the Health app for the iPhone.

 

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