The electronics giant's latest TV ad for its smartphone shows people using the device to track their fitness, even before HealthKit is available.
Apple unveiled its latest iPhone ad during the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Apple)
Apple may not be ready to track your health with HealthKit quite yet, but it wants to remind you how the iPhone can already help you get fit.
The Cupertino, Calif., company on Wednesday released the newest TV ad in its "You're more powerful than you think" campaign. In the latest spot, iPhone users swim, run, and weigh themselves, all while connected to apps on their smartphones and while using accessories.
And they're all working out to a track called "Chicken Fat." The song in the ad was originally composed for President John F. Kennedy's physical fitness program and was performed by Robert Preston. Recordings of the song were sent to US school officials to accompany the official US Physical Fitness program of the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
"Go you chicken fat, go away," says the song, which sounds like it's backed by a marching band. "Go you chicken fat, go."
Health has become a big focus area for companies across the tech sector. Several have introduced health-centric gadgets, such as the Samsung Gear Fit and Jawbone Up24, and countless others are working on smart glucose meters and similar products. Other companies see an opportunity to mine patient data or collect readings on individuals to predict when they'll get sick and tailor treatment.
The new ad comes as Apple hosts its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. During its high-profile keynote Monday, the company showed off the latest version of its iOS mobile software and its Mac OS X operating system, as well as a new smart-home program. It also launched a new programming language, called Swift, to help developers make apps faster.
Another new feature shown by Apple was HealthKit. The software, available this fall with Apple's newly unveiled iOS 8, will let consumers track health-related data and serve as a hub for that information. It includes a corresponding app named Health, which can be used with third-party fitness devices.
The promise, according to what was demonstrated at WWDC, is to knit data from separate apps and even fitness accessories into one repository. Nike, for instance, was named as one company that will be enabling its data into Health. A picture of a Fitbit next to the iPhone shows it won't be the only fitness device to get quick support. And a partnership with the Mayo Clinic promises to import an individual's particular health parameters, like blood pressure, and then contact a hospital if one's readings suddenly get too high.
Apple unveiled its new HealthKit feature Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Tim Stevens/ CNET)
Aside from HealthKit, Apple so far has been relatively quiet in the health and fitness market. It has partnered with Nike on a fitness app but hasn't released a wearable or health-centric apps of its own. A new motion co-processor introduced in the iPhone 5S last fall, called the M7, works alongside the main chip in the device to continuously measure motion data without draining battery life. Apple said last fall that M7 would enable a new generation of health and fitness apps, but so far, only a handful of apps -- including Nike+ Move, DayOne, Runtastic, and Strava Run -- take advantage of the chip.
The ad released during the Stanley Cup on Wednesday doesn't show features of HealthKit but instead demonstrates apps and accessories already on the market.
Apple shows the customers tracking their progress with the iPhone and third-party accessories such as the Wahoo Fitness Blue SC Speed/Cadence Sensor, Withings Health Mate, Zepp Golf Sensor, Misfit Shine, and Adidas miCoach Smart Ball.
The apps Wemo, Misfit Shine, Argus, Withings, Zepp Golf, Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App, Strong Lifts, TRX Force, Sprinttimer, miCoach Smart Ball, Wahoo Fitness, and Nike+ Running.
Here are the lyrics to the version of "Chicken Fat" used in the ad:
Touch down, Every morning, Ten times! Not just, Now and then. Once more on the rise. Nuts to the flabby guys! Go, you chicken fat, go away! Go, you chicken fat, go! Running, (two) (Run) Like a tortoise, (Okay) Too far, and too slow. Now double up, ready! (Running) Run two three four, (Like a hare) Run two three four, (Now you are) Run two three four, (Getting there) Run two three four, Go you (Run two three four) Chicken fat, (Run two three four) (Go away!) Everybody sing! Go, you chicken fat, go! Go! Go! Dismissed!
Sport: Running/Fitness and wellness
Proficiency level: Expert/Intermediate