updated 06:50 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
Health app now leverages iPhone 5s M7 motion co-processor
Another notable change found as testers pore over the latest iOS 8 beta is that the Health app is now connected to the M7 motion co-processor found in the iPhone 5s. As a result, the app can now keep track of steps taken without the aid of any third-party apps or hardware. Upon opening the revised Health app, users will find the previous week's worth of step data (which is continuously monitored by the M7) pre-populated. Users can remove "sets" of steps if desired, and sort all Health data by day, week, month or year.
The ability of the iPhone 5s to monitor step tracking without assistance eliminates one of the main reasons people buy fitness bands, though most offer other functionality beyond just step counting. Apple itself is said to be working on its own version of a fitness wearable, which is also thought to include further health monitoring. The Health app also now offers caffeine intake as a nutritional category that can be monitored with the use of third-party devices, reports 9to5Mac.
Swift language gets major update, guide e-book likewise updated
Apple's Swift programming language got its first significant update today alongside the release of new betas for Yosemite (OS X 10.10) and iOS 8. The revisions address a number of concerns developers had after initially working with the new language, which promises to improve coding efficiency through incorporating common functions that previously had to be written in detail. Arrays in Swift have been completely redesigned to have full-value semantics as Dictionary and String already do.
In addition, the update makes chances to the Array and Dictionary "sugar" syntax, "nil" has been changed to a literal rather than global constant, APIs imported from C no longer use type aliases, and C pointers are now imported with a much simpler API type structure that is more predictable. Function pointers are also imported now, and can be referenced and passed around, notes Apple. The free e-book Introducing Swift to guide developers through learning Swift has now also been updated to address all the changes.