Blood pressure a little high? Need the lights turned off in your home? There's an app for that. Or there soon could be after Apple unveiled the latest plans for its iPhone software yesterday at its developers' conference in
Apple's chief executive,
It will be released in the autumn and run on iPhones and iPads and is "something only Apple can do", Cook said.
He pointed to statistics which said that 130 million iPhone and iPad buyers in the past 12 months out of about 230m sold were new to Apple's platform.
The HealthKit and HomeKit software is part of a push by the
In a speech to thousands of software developers at the Worldwide Developers conference in
Federighi was at pains to emphasise that the health and smart home systems will not share user data without explicit permission, as it seeks to position itself as an alternative to the data-sharing approach used by
With new smartphone buyers increasingly hard to find as the US and European markets become saturated, Apple is looking to attract users of
Cook put heavy emphasis on the success that the iPhone and iPad have had in
Announcing HealthKit, Federighi said that at present apps retain their data individually but do not interact or connect to make good use of it. "That information lives in silos," he said. "You can't get a single comprehensive picture."
The news follows arch-rival Samsung's announcement last week of a mobile health-data store called Sami (Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions). Samsung plans to market Sami by hosting a developer challenge and setting up a
The update to the iPhone and iPad software will be released in the autumn, Federighi said. Though Apple made no mention of new iPhones or iPads, those are expected to be shown off just before the software's release, to ship just after it.
Among the expected updates are an iPhone with a larger screen to attract users who might otherwise shift to the increasingly popular "phablet" models, and to win back those who have moved away from the iPhone because they prefer the larger screens available on Android.
The iPhone 5S has a 4in screen, measured diagonally, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are 5in or more, and analyst data shows that such larger screens are increasingly popular.
Apple also showed off the new Handoff software for its desktops and laptops that will automatically connect to an iPhone, so that it will show the identity of a caller, and let users reply to SMSes directly from the screen. Handoff is part of its latest update to OS X, codenamed
Apple's software chief
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