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Rumored ‘Healthbook’ App for iOS 8 Suggests Significant Health Component to iWatch

Roundup ios7Apple is developing a new app expected to be released alongside iOS 8 that collects and organizes information and data points related to the users health, including fitness statistics from the new M7 processor in the iPhone 5s, and possibly other data collected from a new wearable product, reports 9to5Mac.

The app, reportedly called Healthbook, will be a preinstalled app that can track data points including a user’s blood pressure, hydration, heart rate and potentially other statistics like glucose levels. It could also remind users to take medications at certain times during the day.

The “Healthbook” application is said to take multiple user interface cues from Apple’s own Passbook app, which is software for storing loyalty cards, coupons, and other materials normally stored in physical wallets.

The new health and fitness application’s interface is a stack of cards that can be easily swiped between. Each card represents a different fitness or health data point. The prototype logo for “Healthbook” is similar to Passbook’s icon, but it is adorned with graphics representing vital signs.

9to5Mac also reports that Apple is designing iOS 8 with the iWatch in mind, saying that sources suggest the iWatch and iPhone will be “heavily reliant” on each other for health tracking. The iWatch will also include some mapping abilities as well.

The site suggests that the iWatch will include the ability to measure statistics that the Healthbook app can measure — including glucose levels and heart rate — though nothing concrete is known. It does say that sources suggest Apple has been able to combine several different health sensors into one chipset in order to make them all smaller.

Apple is also working on significant new features for its Maps app, including transit directions, though that feature still has significant amounts of work to be done and is not a “lock” to be included in iOS 8, claims the site.

The New York Times reported earlier today that several Apple executives met with the FDA last month to discuss mobile medical applications. One expert said the meeting could be “to get the lay of the land for regulatory pathways with medical devices and apps” or “that Apple has been trying to push something through the F.D.A. for a while and they’ve had hangups.”

Apple has made a number of health-related hires in the past year, including employees with expertise in health sensors and other mobile health devices.

iOS 8 is expected to be previewed at WWDC in June, while the iWatch — which 9to5Mac says is “well into development” — and new models of the iPhone are expected in the second half of the year.


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Airbnb Is Testing Out An Affordable Cleaning Service For Hosts In San Francisco

airbnb mobile

Peer-to-peer lodgings marketplace Airbnb has been focused on finding ways that it can help its hosts improve the quality of experience for guests that stay in their homes. As part of this effort, the company is trialing a low-cost cleaning service for some hosts on the platform.

According to an email sent to a host in the San Francisco Bay Area that was forwarded to TechCrunch, Airbnb is piloting a program that will make cleaning services available to some people who make their homes available on the platform. The email claims those services will be “affordable, easy to schedule, and can be tailored to include amenities such as linen service and gift baskets.”

In a statement from an Airbnb spokesperson, the company confirmed the trial, saying: “We’re always testing ways to make the experience on Airbnb better. This is a test we’re looking at in one market.”

Airbnb is working on a number of ways in which it can better support the people who list their homes on the platform. It recently brought on a new head of hospitality, Chip Conley, and created a Hospitality Innovation Lab in Dublin aimed at determining best practices for hosts.

It’s also introduced a new suite of mobile apps that are aimed at making the listing process easier. At the same event in which those apps were unveiled, Airbnb announced that it would relaunch Airbnb Groups to enable hosts to communicate and share tips with each other, and even toyed with the idea of offering up smartphones to hosts as a way to improve response times to guests and boost overall bookings.

But chief among the ways that Airbnb hosts can improve the quality of stay for their guests is through cleanliness of the spaces that they list. Those who frequently have Airbnb guests already know this, and many so-called “super hosts” already schedule regular cleaning sessions between stays.

Doing so can be expensive, however, and can eat into the money that hosts make — especially those who rely on income from Airbnb to help them pay their rents. At $55 for a three-hour cleaning, the price is slightly below what you might get from a service like Homejoy, which generally charges $20 an hour (in San Francisco, at least). Individual cleaners can run even higher, depending on the size of the home or how much cleaning is needed.

Offering hosts a somewhat discount price is a nice perk, especially for those who regularly rent out their homes to other members of Airbnb. It also improves the overall quality of their stays, could lead to better reviews, and overall increase the likelihood that hosts will have future guests.

Full text of the email sent to our host contact below:

Hi [XXXX],

We’re excited to invite you to try a new cleaning service we’re piloting for a select group of Airbnb hosts! Airbnb Cleaning is affordable, easy to schedule, and can be tailored to include amenities such as linen service and gift baskets, too. Pricing starts at $55 for a 3 hour cleaning.

We built this service to address what Airbnb guests care about most (things like odors, stray hairs, and refrigerators!). We also worked with hosts like you to understand how to cater to personal hosting styles and home setup preferences. We’ll save your preferences and set up your space exactly the way you want it every time.

Click here to learn more!

If you have any questions, simply reply to this e-mail and we’ll answer it promptly.

Happy hosting,