Health and Activity: Complete Guide to iOS 13

Apple added new features and new functionality to most of its built-in apps, including Health and Activity, both of which have either changed significantly or have major new features worth noting.

This guide goes over the changes that Apple made to the Health app and the Activity app in iOS 13.

Health App

Summary

Apple in iOS 13 entirely overhauled the Health app, doing away with the iOS 12 interface which featured four tabs for the "Today" calendar, "Health Data," "Sources," and "Medical ID."

The main Health interface now features just two tabs: Summary and Browse. Summary is an overview of all of your different health metrics, which are going to vary based on what health-related devices you have and how you use them.


If you have an Apple Watch, for example, you'll see data like activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, stand hours, stand minutes, steps, and tons more. Other devices, like the Beddit sleep monitor, smart scales, blood pressure monitors, and anything else that connects to the Health app can also be displayed here.

To edit what's in the "Summary" tab," tap on the "Edit" button and tap the stars next to the categories that you want to be able to see.

Highlights

The Summary app has a "Highlights" section that tells you relevant and interesting information that you might want to know like average workout minutes over the last seven days, heart rate recovery, average steps walked per day, environmental sound levels, and more.

Get More From Health

If you scroll down to the end of the Summary section in the Health app, you will see various options like registering as an organ donor along with health-related information such as why hearing health matters and understanding hearing loss. There are also links to health-related apps you might want to try.

Browse Tab

In the "Browse" tab in the Health app, you can see a breakdown of all of the available health-related categories to make it easier to find different health information and your health records if you have a doctor's office that makes records available on the iPhone.


This section also includes a search category so you can search for exactly what you're looking for.

Profile

Information like Medical ID and Sources, which was previously available through dedicated tabs in the iOS 12 Health app, is now located in a new Profile section available by tapping on your profile picture at the top of the Health app.


Your personal health details (height, weight, age, etc) are stored here, along with your Medical ID info and your organ donation choices. In this section, you can also access your health records if you have a participating health provider and you can change which apps and devices have access to your Health data.

Health Data Breakdowns

Since the Health app is no longer organized by date, it looks different when you tap into a health category like steps taken or exercise minutes.

You can still see data organized by day, week, month, or year, but it's easier to find each category that you're looking for and Apple also provides useful health summaries in these sections.


Depending on the health category, metrics like historical average, daily average, range, alerts, and more are also available.

Menstrual Cycle Tracking

iOS 13 brings a new health tracking feature for tracking menstrual cycles. It includes options for both period and fertility tracking, providing a first-party alternative to less privacy-focused period tracking apps.


It predicts when a period is expected and keeps track of period history, along with allowing for the logging and tracking of different symptoms related to both health and fertility tracking.

Noise Monitoring

Apple in iOS 13 monitors the sound level around you through a connected Series 4 Apple Watch or through connected earbuds like the EarPods, AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, and other options.

The Health app can be set to send notifications when harmful noise levels are detected, such as if you're at a concert that's too loud or are listening to music through the ‌AirPods‌ or other headphones that's set too loud.


In the Health app specifically, Apple provides a readout of the ambient noise you've been exposed to over time. The app lets you know if it's been too loud, and provides the average sound level in your environment over the last hour, day, week, month, and year.

Toothbrushing Time

If you have a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that works with an ‌iPhone‌ app, that data can now be imported into the Health app in a new Toothbrushing category so you can see your brushing time at a glance. The Toothbrushing category tracks brushing time per day, week, month, and year.


If you don't have a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush, you can also add manual data each time that you brush your teeth.

Activity App

The Activity app in iOS 13 has a new "Trends" tab that's designed to make sure you keep up your activity levels from month to month.

Trends lets you know if your overall health trends are stable, up, or down, so if activity levels have dropped, you can make the appropriate changes.


To give you an idea of where you stand at a glance, Trends uses up or down arrows. An up arrow means your activity in a specific category is up, while a down arrow means you're trending downwards.

Trends covers Move (calories via active movement per day), Exercise minutes, Stand hours, Distance walked, and more, depending on which activities you do. Metrics like Stand Minutes per Hour, VO2MAX, Walking Pace, and Running Pace are also available, though you need enough data to activate them. These are based on walking and running workouts.


Apple says that Trends is designed to help users understand the long-term trajectory for activity, mobility, and fitness over the course of the last 90 days. Tapping on any one of the arrows in the Trends tab provides more specific information so you can see changes over time in more detail.

Apple will give you an encouraging message if your trends are up, or personalized coaching if trends are down.

New Move Achivements

The Activity app also includes some new Move achievements, with rewards for hitting Move goals 1250, 1500, 1750, and 2000 times. Previously, this maxed out at 1000.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the Health or Activity apps, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 months ago
I personally love the new features. I'm not sure if sound levels were there before, but I'm thrilled to have found that and happy to see I'm mostly staying at safe levels. I'm quite happy with the new changes. It's way more information than we got in the past.

Do I need to say more?

Sure. You should also say why you're recommending turning off the Health features in a thread specifically created to discuss the new health features. This is for people who use the features to learn more, not for comments from people who choose not to use those features. No one really cares that you don't use those features. And crap like your post just clogs up the thread for those of us who want to learn more. You've literally contributed nothing of value here.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Still iPhone only? Why no iPadOS love?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

I personally can't fathom why anyone needs a $1000 phone to ride a bike, brush ones teeth, manage ones menstral cycle, manage their weight keep track of what they eat, etc. Come up folks...PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES AND LIVE YOUR LIFE!

BMI is just another number. No one needs to know their BMI to know if they have a weight related problem----Geez!

You must not be a woman who visits a gynecologist- because they want that information. Shall we just stick it on a wall calendar and drag the whole wall calendar into the appointment with us?

My phone cost me $350 brand new shipped from Apple, including shipping. Are you assuming everyone buys a $1000 phone? Because most of the Apple people I know have a 5s, 5, SE, or 7 - All $450 or less.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

I personally can't fathom why anyone needs a $1000 phone to ride a bike, brush ones teeth, manage ones menstral cycle, manage their weight keep track of what they eat, etc. Come up folks...PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES AND LIVE YOUR LIFE!

BMI is just another number. No one needs to know their BMI to know if they have a weight related problem----Geez!

Maybe I'm unusual, but if there's something I "personally can't fathom," then I usually make an attempt to understand that or ask others for information. I don't post rants about it. If you're so stressed about others wanting or using it, then I suggest you PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES AND LIVE YOUR LIFE!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Like in other areas of Apples business also here in Activity there are things that are just pathetic.
1. When Cycling the clock should stop when you stop. After something like 10 minutes the app asks if you want to pause. Then you say yes and then you forget to resume and the workout is only partially recorded. Just plain stupid. Has no software engineer at Apple ever taken a bike workout?
2. Social Media anyone? Why is there just a stupid symbol and a link when you want to share a workout? Pathetic and made by dumb people. (PS: I am one of the biggest Apple fanboys ever). Just look how Strava has done it. Pick a photo or the map and all data will be added automatically. The result is a nice post! Why can‘t Apple do the simplest things?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

Calculating BMI based on height/weight is stupid

Thats the only way we get BMI...so did I miss sarcasm?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Here Are All of the New Apple Watch Faces Apple Announced Today

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which will be compatible with new watch faces that are being introduced in the watchOS 7 update set to be released tomorrow. Apple has provided a video highlighting all of the new Apple Watch faces, with details on each one. GMT - The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once, while also taking into...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....