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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

WWDC Wish List: HealthKit on iPad and Mac

Note: This story has not been updated since 2020.

Apple introduced HealthKit in 2014, but the iPad and Mac are still left out.

Since the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has become increasingly focused on health technology. As someone who makes an effort to fill the rings on my Apple Watch, I appreciate the focus.

In the past few years I’ve also bought a few sensors that collect health data and then sync it back to Apple’s HealthKit database. And this is where I’ve run into trouble, because for sensors that I use when I’m sleeping or getting up in the morning, I tend to have my iPad nearby—and my iPhone is charging in another room.

It’s frustrating, because Apple offers the Health and Activity apps on the iPhone, but not on the iPad or the Mac. I’d love to check my blood pressure data on my Mac or view the location of a previous day’s hike on my iPad, but those features are unavailable. It also means that if I want to sync to those connected health devices, I need to bring my iPhone around, since it’s the device that’s capable of consuming all this data.

For a company with such a deep focus on health, restricting this data to one device (okay, two if you count Apple Watch) seems like a big mistake. We all use our Apple devices in different ways. I realize that as someone who uses a Mac and iPad more often than an iPhone, I’m a bit of an outlier. And I am apparently unusual in not sleeping with my iPhone on my nightstand. But why should the iPad be walled off from viewing, editing, sharing, and syncing health data?

So I’m adding this item onto my WWDC Wish List: Apple should provide health data, securely synced across devices via iCloud, across iPhone, Watch, iPad, and Mac. (Mac Catalyst should be a help here—but that will require getting the Health and Activity apps to run on the iPad first.) It’s been six years since the introduction of HealthKit. Time to get the job done.

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