Apple Is Finally Adding This Much-Requested iPhone Feature

Photograph by Rockie Nolan.
The iPhone is finally getting a feature we’ve been begging for: period tracking.

Apple is calling it “reproductive tracking,” and it'll be added to the Health app as part of the upcoming iOS 9 update. Apple SVP Craig Federighi mentioned the new addition in less than a second in today's WWDC keynote address, leaving us with lots of questions. Is it period tracking? Ovulation tracking? Pregnancy tracking? All three?

The lack of women’s health-related monitoring in iOS has been a sore point since iOS 8 shipped last fall. Even when iOS 8.2 arrived earlier this year touting big improvements to Health Kit, period and fertility tracking were still left out. (Luckily, there are already a number of third-party period trackers and ovulation trackers out there — we highlighted five of our favorites here.) Now, however, you’ll be able to glance at where you are in your reproductive cycle — alongside how many steps you’ve taken that day, and how many calories you’ve eaten — using Apple’s built-in Health app. The reproductive-tracking addition is joined by other new metrics, such as UV tracking, water-intake tracking, and your time spent not moving.

iOS 9 is available as a beta to developers later today, and as a public beta that you can sign up for in July. It’ll be available to the rest of us when it launches alongside this year’s new iPhones in the fall.

We're disappointed that Apple didn't spend more time talking about this reproductive-tracking feature, seeing as it could be extremely useful for about half of its iPhone-using population. Also, it's okay to say "period" onstage, Apple — we've been saying it on TV since 1985 (thanks, Courteney Cox!).
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