Apple updates health app to include passive step counts, caffeine tracking


A new beta version of the Apple health tracking platform for iOS 8 boasts of a pedometer and the capacity to track caffeine intake.

The step and distance tracking feature of the latest beta relies solely on the smartphone's M7 motion coprocessor, making it the first feature of Apple's Health app that works independently of a third party device or app.

This puts Apple's step tracking feature in the ranks of Moves, RunKeeper and Fitbit, whose apps, although third party, all make use of the smartphone's sensor. 

The latest version of the Health app keeps Apple competitive with other sources that offer caffeine tracking, most notably Jawbone, whose UP Coffee app is entirely dedicated to the cause.

Although caffeine tracking is hardly new to the app world, UP Coffee may still have the edge, for reports say the Apple Health app's caffeine tracking feature merely tracks users' manually logged consumption, while the Jawbone app provides personalized information about how their health could be affected based on intake.