Apple COO Jeff Williams claims that watchOS 6 will give users powerful new tools to manage their health. Apple Watch has already been heavily involved in medical research, for example, heart studies were held using Apple smartwatches. The previous model already provided an EKG feature and the new update includes some new health apps as well as advancements in the way health data is analysed.
There’s no end to the health-related improvements wearables enable. Apple’s technological partners, AliveCor and One Drop, who make EKG devices and diabetes management tools which are integrated into smartwatches, are developing AI-powered solutions to enhance health insights. Meanwhile, an updated version of the Health app will use machine learning to deliver further valuable insights.
Apple will introduce a period-tracking app in watchOS 6. It won’t be the first-ever wearable app for that − Garmin made a cycle app for its fitness trackers in May 2019, jumping ahead of its competitors.
For female users, it’s a valuable feature. Plus, since smartwatches are focused on collecting and analysing health data, these tools are incomplete without period tracking functionality. Due to escalated concerns around period-tracking apps selling personal data, Apple addressed the security issue, assuring users it would not share anything without permission.
Apple also developed a new application, called Noise, to combat the potential for hearing damage. It detects high noise levels and sends notifications. The app works for both external and internal volumes, with the latter being of greater importance because people often listen to something at volume levels that aren’t safe.
However, medical professionals are already criticising the Noise app because notifications can be easily dismissed and there won’t be a foreseeable impact. The psychologist Larry Rosen claims that Apple proposes a simplistic solution and it should address the public health concerns related to their devices.
Activity Trends will offer users a broader perspective when it comes to their health data. With yearly progress reports and comparison features, users get recommendations based on their personal activity trends.
Apple also added a Calculator app, which, strangely, hasn’t been available on a smartwatch yet. Also new are Voice Memos, a language translator, and Audiobooks.
The majority of applications provide a simple SSO/social login via Facebook or Google. It’s convenient as users don’t have to remember login information for hundreds of apps. A user just pushes the ‘Log in with Facebook’ button and gets redirected to the Facebook app and then back. This is backed up by the OAuth/OIDC authentication protocols.
Since social logins should be able to redirect to Safari, which Apple Watch doesn’t have (it’s not the best device for browsing the web) there are some limitations regarding the log in procedure.
Fortunately, Apple introduced ‘Sign in with Apple,’ also based on the OpenID Connect (OIDC) protocol. It bypasses Safari because a user is already logged in with an Apple ID. Moreover, Apple ID provides an extra privacy level on top of the protocol: it hides a real ID, which is an email address, and sends a randomly generated, fake email to third-party services such as apps.
For Apple Watch apps, the best practice will be to support Apple Login, as it’s the most convenient and secure way to log into a service. If you want to provide such a feature, check out our Identifo project, it’s a universal authentication framework which is extremely easy to set up.