Apple’s latest version of iOS is available today, so that iPhones are compatible when the Apple Watch launches.
Apple is releasing iOS 8.2 with support for the Apple Watch today. The update is a minor one, but it’s something that anyone planning on buying an Apple Watch will want to download soon: the watch requires connection with an iPhone, and the iPhone must be running iOS 8.2 for it to work.
The Apple Watch app doesn’t have much content for the moment but it will eventually allow you to pair your iPhone and watch and mange apps for the wearable through a dedicated Apple Watch App Store. You can download the latest update now from your iOS Settings menu (Settings -> General -> Software Update).
The update also includes improvements to Apple’s Health app, as well as bug fixes and stability enhancements, according to Apple’s release notes. Apple also announced a new software framework called ResearchKit, which it hopes will help turn the 700 million iPhones in users’ hands into medical diagnostic tools.
ResearchKit is an open-source framework that lets medical researchers create diagnostic apps that tap into the screens and accelerometers on the iPhone, as well as data from HealthKit apps. The first five apps built with ResearchKit are available today, and they’re built to help diagnose various disorders.
On stage, Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams demoed tests within the app that could measure hand tremors by using an iPhone touchscreen, vocal trembling using the microphone, and a walking balance test.
Williams said he hopes ResearchKit can help address a few problems with medical research in its current state, such as limited patient participation, infrequent data sampling, and one-way communication from the patient to a medical professional. The ResearchKit apps are designed to be more interactive and allow a patient to control when and with whom to share data.
Williams also stressed that customers would be able to control the data shared by each ResearchKit app, and that sensitive data would only be visible by medical researchers. “Apple will not see your data,” Williams said during the presentation.