Apple with iOS 17 added new features to the Health app, introducing a mood recording function, tools to maintain eye health and more.
This guide highlights all the new Health app features in iOS 17.
With iOS 17, Apple added a “State of Mind” feature to the Health app. This option is designed to allow you to track your emotions on a daily basis, to get the overall picture of your mental well-being.
Through notifications from the Health app or your Apple Watch, you can record your mood at different times of the day and enter an overall mood for the day.
A mood record features a scroll bar with options ranging from Very Unpleasant to Neutral to Pleasant. The options are color-coded (very unpleasant is purple, neutral is blue, and very pleasant is orange), and the idea is to drag the cursor to the representation closest to your current mood.
From there, Apple asks you what best describes the feeling and presents a list of mood-related adjectives you can select from. The “Very Pleasant” mood, for example, has options like Amazed, Quiet, Joyful, and Calm. The “Very Unpleasant” mood includes Angry, Sad, Drained, and Stressed, while the Neutral moods include Peaceful, Indifferent, and Happy.
You cannot enter your own adjective and must use one of Apple’s suggestions. There are a few dozen options total, so the idea is just to pick the closest match.
After selecting a mood and accompanying adjective, Apple asks what’s causing the mood. Options include health, fitness, family, friends, partners, dating, weather, money, and current events, but again, you have to choose from Apple’s list. You can, however, add context in this section, so that you can write down details about why you chose a specific category.
Your mood over time can be viewed on a graph with breakdowns by week, month, six months or year. You can draw on life states, associations, and factors so you can see contributing factors to what influenced how you feel.
You can see what’s causing you trouble or making you happy with a list of each item broken down by association, the category that includes factors like work and relationships.
Apple also logs Life Factors to show you patterns of actions that can affect your mood. Life factors include exercise minutes, mindfulness minutes, sleep, and time spent in daylight. Apple directly compares mood over time to exercise over time and other factors listed, so you can understand whether spending time exercising or meditating has an impact on overall mood.
Mental health questionnaires
The Mental Wellbeing section of the Health app includes health questionnaires that check for anxiety and depression so you can talk to your doctor if needed. These are screening tools typically used by doctors and ask questions related to how you have been feeling over the past few weeks.
Filling out these questionnaires populates anxiety and depression risk graphs so you can see at a glance if you might need more self-care or a doctor’s help at different times during the year. Filling out the questionnaires will give you readings on your risk of anxiety and your risk of depression.
Apple is adding new tools to improve eye health in iOS 17, most of which are aimed at children, but can be used by anyone. In Screen Time, there’s a new “Screen Distance” setting that’s meant to reduce eye strain by making sure an iPhone or iPad isn’t held too close to your face.
If the iPhone or iPad is too close, an alert will let you (or your child) know that the display needs to be further away. Apple recommends a viewing distance of 12 inches for the eyes and offers a position guide to help users know where to hold the device for optimal viewing without eye strain.
The Apple Watch can measure the amount of time spent in daylight, and this is another feature aimed at children. There are studies suggesting that spending 80 to 120 minutes outdoors can reduce the risk of nearsightedness or nearsightedness, so paired with an Apple Watch running watchOS 10, the Health app is able to tell you how much time was spent in the light of the day.
Apple says daylight is also beneficial for adults as spending 20 minutes outdoors has physical and mental health benefits. Time spent in daylight is one of the metrics Apple uses to track mental well-being.
Apple has added follow-up reminders for drugs tracked using the Health app. If you don’t register a medication within 30 minutes of receiving an official notification, you can choose to receive a second notification so you don’t miss out on your medication.
Additionally, critical alerts can be enabled and they will appear on the screen and play a sound even if a Focus mode is enabled or a device is turned off.
Health app for iPad
The Health app has been limited to the iPhone since it was introduced, but with iPadOS 17 it is also available on the iPad. The iPad does not collect health data, but it can display all the information collected by the iPhone and other accessories on a larger display.
Essentially it displays all the same information available on the iPhone app, but is iPad sized and has a navigation bar on the left side of the display.
Apple has optimized the design of the Health app. Sections like Heart, Medications, Sleep, Mobility, and more have their own background colors to add more visual interest to the data presented by the app.
Much of the look and feel of the Health app is the same, but there have been minor updates to the colors and other small changes that refine the look.
to know more
Learn more about all the new features in the iOS 17 update in our iOS 17 roundup.
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