Forget Apple’s “bendgate”, here comes “cycle-gate”
With Apple’s release of iOS8, one of the most sought after features for me personally was the Healthkit, as I hoped, that this would be one central place where I could manage and monitor not just my weight, but also fitness activities. Right now this data is very much fragmented across my Fitbit scale, Garmin Connect, Smashrun, Nike+ and obviously my health care insurance (not to mention data collected at my local gym).
Apple seems to have thought of monitoring everything from your height, to your weight, BMI right down to what type of vitamins you have taken on a daily basis. Unfortunately the female user-base is massively missing out, as Apple has completely forgotten to include reproductive health data (such as a woman’s cycle) and I honestly see a major “cycle-gate” coming on, which will make Apple’s “bendgate” and the recent iOS8.0.1 update saga a non-event.
While some might trivialise this issue (there is a serious business for apps like this out there – see HelloClue), it does raise a very important point and question: What did Apple actually want to achieve with Healthkit if it could not be bothered to properly understand it’s userbase and use-cases?
Just looking at Healthkit’s mediocre fitness data being captured and that at launch, not even Nike could be bothered to release an update to their apps to record Nike+ Fuelpoints should make one wonder, if Healthkit is not another one of Apple’s gadgets (such as the iPhone 5C) which was introduced as part of a corporate knee-jerk-reaction (“gotta do something about the Samsung Gear Fit”).
Healthkit will never be a contender for dedicated fitness apps (such as Strava or Endomondo) and I am still puzzled, why those companies would want to share their data with Apple in the first place. Nike might be the only company with an incentive, as they have successfully eroded their eco-system by cutting out on any fitness wearables (Nike Sports Watch, Nike Fuelband and even Nike Footpod) and are now solely relying on having a community based on their Nike Apps (which are generally only maintained on iOS and hardly see feature parity on Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone).
As of late it does appear that Apple has lost the plot and their product launches are incoherent and of poor quality. The launch of iOS8 is probably the best example, where many features (such as Healthkit, Continuity and some Siri features) had been removed/deferred as some would only properly work with Yosemite. The introduction of iClouddrive is then such a contradiction to the removal of Continuity, as any user having migrated to iClouddrive on iOS8 would have absolutely no way to sync content to their non-Yosemite Macs – I am simply puzzled by how Apple has executed their product launches of late, and cycle-gate will still have it’s time in the media.