Apple’s iOS 8 Health app empowers users to choose healthy lifestyle choices, but there may be a little confusion about getting the combined solution to work. So I’ve written this simple guide to get you started.
Health works with third-party apps and devices, gathering all your incoming data in one place to share it with multiple apps and make it easy for you to monitor. You must approve each new supported app for Health.
Get some apps
First install some apps. I use Argus and Instant Heart Rate. You may also like MyFitness Pal (which includes an excellent food database); MapMyRun or Motion 24/7 Sleeptracker. Another app, WebMD, turns your accumulated health data into actionable insights to help improve your health – and if you want some exercise ideas try 7 Minute Workout app.
Enable each app
You must access the preferences within each of your health apps to let them know you want them to share data with Apple’s Health app. In this example, I’ve paired the Argus app with Health by accessing the Devices & Apps pane within Argus, but each app has a slightly different approach: some ask for approval. (Others require you to authorize them within app-specific settings.) You must authorize each app you wish to use individually for use with Health.
Once you’ve authorized the apps, launch Health and tap Sources (a heart-shaped icon with an arrow poking into it that’s situated at the bottom of the screen). In the next screen, you’ll see a list of apps that you’ve asked to share data with Health.
Health will ask what data you want to take from the third-party app (“Allow “app” to write data”) and what information you will allow the app to take from Health (Allow “app” to read data”).
This is important if you use multiple apps that do some of the same things – you’ll want to decide which step counter to rely on, for example. There should be a category for each type of information your app gathers. Approve all those you wish to use, unless there’s another app gathering that particular piece of data.