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IN DEPTH: 7 best iPhone health apps for iOS 8


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Getting Better
IN DEPTH: 7 best iPhone health apps for iOS 8

What is The Apple Health app and best fitness

With the arrival of iOS 8, health is suddenly a big focus for Apple. So much so that the iPhone maker has made a dedicated Health app.

This official iPhone Health app keeps track of everyone's important biometric data and also records steps though the Apple's M8 and M7 co-processor within the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5S.

What's more, these fitness metrics can be corralled from and shared with many of the third-party health apps on iOS. You won't have to always switch between apps.

Apple could have limited the scope of its pre-installed Health app to the forthcoming Apple Watch, but it didn't. More and more, the company is opening itself up to outside developers, and that's healthy.

iPhone Health app: How to use it

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

Health is the latest built-in app Apple has introduced with iOS 8. It acts as a central hub for developers to share fitness and health data from their own respective apps, fitness trackers, smartwatches or simple data users plug into the Health Kit directly. The app will practically take all sorts of data from your age, weight, height, meals, steps exercise or what have you and collate it all into your personal health record.

The interesting bit comes with being able to see all of this information charted into graphs across hours to days to months and so on. Additionally users can also setup a Medical ID to give your doctor a quick medial record that goes beyond a yearly check up with your local physician.

Most importantly, though, the Health app acts as hub to also display all the data coming in from third-party apps. After a rough start more and more apps on the app store are being updated with Health app support. Now the only problem is figuring out which of the thousands are the best. But fret, not as we bring you our list of the 8 best fitness apps for iOS 8.

1. RunKeeper

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

This app has been a keeper well before Apple introduced its Health app and now it's been made even better with the added integration. RunKeeper taps into the iPhone's GPS to record your time, pace, calories burned and how far you've run. The app will also give you audio alerts telling you how you're doing pace-wise, plus your time and distance in the middle of a run.

Once you're done making your rounds, you can review your data with charts and a nice little map of your entire route. Beyond tracking your impromptu jogging sessions, users also have access to a preloaded set of training and running routines. Alternatively, you can design your own custom interval workouts and set your own challenges.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

2. 7 Minute Workout

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

Of course, there's more to exercising than just running and 7 Minute Workout can help introduce you to a whole new set of calisthenics. The app includes instructions for a whole series of exercises including tricep dips, planks (not to be confused with planking), box squats and much more. It even provides instructional video for each to make sure you have the proper form.

When it's go time, the app also simplifies workout sessions by timing and guiding you through the process. 7 Minute Workout includes three preset workouts to make sure you're pushing muscles to exercise your whole body. If you want to focus on your pectorals or what have you, there's also the option to arrange a custom session.

After you're all done the 7 Minute Workout app integrates with Health app by porting over your workout data and stats.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

3. MotionX 24/7

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

After moving around so much, you're going to get tuckered out eventually. Sleep is good for you and there's a way to analyze how well you're resting using just your smartphone with MotionX 24/7.

All you have to do is place your handset next to your pillow in bed or wear it on an armband while you sleep and start the app. Using the iPhone's accelerometer, MotionX 24/7 can tell when you're tossing and turning. All the while, the iOS device's microphone will record your breathing and snoring to provide insight on how restful your sleep is. The end result of all this data recording helps to determine when is the best possible moment for you to wake up feeling fully refreshed.

Beyond keeping tabs on your sleep schedule, MotionX 24/7 also includes step counting and a feature for checking your heart rate by placing your finger over the rear camera and flash.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

More of the best health apps on iOS 8

4. UP by Jawbone

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

Up might be the latest Jawbone's latest app designed for the Jawbone Up24 fitness tracker, but you can also to use it with just an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 5S by itself.

Thanks to the new Health app and the step tracking capabilities of Apple's M8 and M7 co-processor you can use the app to track your steps, sleep and food intake. The later options require a lot manual input there are few apps that look as good as Jawbone's Up, which displays all your metrics in bright colors with line and bar graphs.

Honestly, with Jawbone Up3 coming out soon, this app is a good holdover instead of springing for the last-generation wristband fitness tracker.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later on an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5S.

5. Sick Weather

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

Staying healthy isn't just a matter of staying in shape, it's also not getting sick. Labeling itself as a Doppler radar for sickness, Sick Weather provides users with real-time maps of illnesses around the city. The app combs social media for reports of people feeling under the weather and adds makers onto a local map.

Sick Weather covers a long list of known bugs including the Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye and Whooping Cough, plus 19 other illnesses. In theory, by plotting out exactly where sick people have shown up, you'll be able to avoid getting sick yourself. Users will also be able to turn on an alert feature notifying them before they enter a danger zone by surprise.

This is the only app on this list that does not sync up with Apple's Health app, but we feel it's still important enough to note. Just keep in mind Sick Weather adds a big drain on your battery life by accessing the iPhone's GPS, so be sure to quit out when you're staying put for a while.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

6. Carrot Fit

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

Personal trainers can be awfully scary sometimes. Electronic fitness apps are too nice allowing you to slack off too often. Carrot Fit places itself somewhere between (or outside) these two extremes by comically berating you into exercising more.

Upon opening up the app, Carrot Fit proclaims itself as your new fitness overlord before proceeding to demand thanks for getting your flabby self into shape. Just like to the 7 Minute Workout Carrot Fit will prompt you with an exercise routine and count everything down.

Rather than embedding instructional videos from YouTube like 7 Minute Workout, Carrot Fit animates and explains exercises to great comedic effect. This is all helped by a monotone, but generally insulting, GLaDOS-like voice. The app also makes constant pop culture references including calling wall squats the Invisible Iron Throne as a nod to a Game of Thrones. Later the app asked me if I feel the burn before remarking that it was the feeling of "winter coming to your knees."

The comedy schtick adds a bit of levity to what are generally boring and grueling exercises. But underneath all the extra polish and jokes, Carrot Fit is a just very well put together app with great production value.

Like Jawbone's UP app, Carrot Fit will benefit from iPhones equipped with Apple's M7 or M8 co-processor. The app is entirely usable with the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5 running iOS 8 with the caveat that you won't be able to add your steps to the total of calories burned in your 7 minutes in hell workouts.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

7. WebMD

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Health Kit, RunKeeper, 7 Minute Workout, MotionX 24/7, iOS Health app, Jawbone UP, Carrot Fit, WebMD, Sick Weather

WebMD is slightly different from all the other apps we've previously discussed as its more focused on keeping track of your overall health and not just during exercise. In this sense, WebMD focused on developing your Healthy Target working in tandem with the Apple Health app and devices made by devices made by Entra, Fitbit, Jawbone, Telcare and Withings.

In the app you'll spend a lot of time developing and sticking to healthy habits such as competing 10 jumping jacks, five squats and five pushups before turning on your TV each evening. The end goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, sleep more and just generally living healthier.

There are also two other parts of the app; the first being Health Tools, which provides medical explanations for illnesses and their likely symptoms. Similar to the WebMD site you can also access medical listings for local doctors pharmacies and hospitals. Healthy Living, meanwhile, is a daily lifestyle magazine that offers tips on exercise, beauty, food and relationships.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.













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