iWatch team now at 200 people, device will be "simpler" than rumors suggest
When it comes to Apple devices, the rumor mill is always pretty crazy, but so far the rumors surrounding the so-called iWatch have gotten a little out of hand. But, a new report has come out to taper those expectations a bit and claim that the iWatch will be a bit "simpler" than rumors suggest, which could be a very good thing for the device. And, as with most smartwatches out there, it sounds like the iWatch will require a smartphone for connectivity, but it is unclear if that means iPhone-only compatibility (though that is a good bet).
Recent rumors have suggested that the iWatch will be focused on health tracking, which would mean a pedometer and heart rate tracking. But, the rumors went beyond that to speculate that Apple might even add in glucose sensing and hydration tracking. The newest rumors are saying those will not be part of the iWatch, which is actually a good thing, because it will mean that Apple doesn't have to worry about getting the device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Apple has already reportedly hit multiple delays in developing its smartwatch, and getting additional regulatory approval would have only added more time to the release plans.
The rumors are also talking about the "Healthbook" app that Apple has been reportedly building for iOS 8. We heard before that the app would be used to track vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure, but now it is being said that the app could also potentially track exercise, sleep, stress, medication reminders, and even data related to pregnancy. It is assumed that the iWatch would track all of these things as well, but it is possible that Apple would build an API to allow products like the FitBit to hook in.
Whatever the plans are, Apple is reportedly taking this very seriously and is focused on the "experience" of the device rather than the technology of it. That shouldn't really be a surprise, of course; that's just Apple's usual process. Additionally, it is being reported that the team working on the iWatch for Apple has grown to about 200 people, which is a relatively small for a company of Apple's size. Figures from October claimed that Apple has just under 40,000 employees outside of its retail stores; and, numbers from early 2012 put Apple's engineer count at about 12,000.