(Adds developer's and analyst's comment)
By Christina Farr and Edwin Chan
SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 Apple Inc on
Monday took the wraps off mobile applications that pool and
analyze health and home data, kicking off an annual developers'
conference lacking in big surprises, despite hopes the iPhone
maker would offer a glimpse into its secretive pipeline of
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and software-engineering boss
Craig Federighi told several thousand developers about new
features that come with the latest "Yosemite" Mac platform and
iOS8, the software that powers the iPhone and iPad.
Apple shares slid 0.7 percent to close at $628.65.
Investors are waiting for Cook to keep a promise to create
new product categories. Last week, Internet services chief Eddy
Cue said the pipeline was the best he had seen in more than two
"The Healthkit has the most potential for the future," said
Nils Kassube, a director of development at Newscope, a
Germany-based consulting firm. "Those of us that are interested
in health need a platform for sharing information."
On Monday, executives talked about "Healthkit," which will
pull together data such as blood pressure and weight now
collected by a growing number of healthcare apps on the iPhone
or iPad. The company also announced an app, dubbed "Health" that
will be an integral part of iOS 8.
The company will work in tandem with Nike Inc, a
major player in fitness tracking, and the Mayo Clinic on the new
feature, which will be included in the latest mobile software.
"That information lives in silos," said Federighi. "You
can't get a single comprehensive picture."
Apple did not elaborate on other capabilities. The news
follows Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's announcement of
its own mobile health-data product.
Federighi also described "homekit," a feature that allows an
Apple device to control everything from lights to temperature.
Apple has one of the most dedicated software communities in
the tech industry, with more than 9 million registered
developers. Every year, the iPhone maker and rival Google Inc
, whose Android mobile devices comprise an estimated
four-fifths of all smartphones sold globally, show the latest
software enhancements to thousands of prospective developers.
Apple described how "Yosemite" will come with a
much-improved Internet storage application similar to those
provided by Box or Dropbox; how users can pick up calls to
iPhones from their Macs; and how Apple devices would sync
constantly with each other, allowing users to pick up on their
Mac where they left off on their iPhone.
While few cutting-edge consumer devices or features were
unveiled, analysts said Apple's focus this year was providing
tools to developers such as a new programming language called
"Swift" that it said was more efficient.
"These developers are sort of make or break for Apple," said
Forrester analyst Frank Gillett. "You have a growing variety of
systems where you need developers and content creators to make
great stuff for Apple."
(Reporting by Christina Farr; Editing by Chris Reese, Richard
Chang and Andre Grenon)