Well, ladies, the day has finally arrived. Last year, Apple introduced a health app that let iPhone users track "key health metrics," from blood pressure and calories consumed to their selenium intake. While selenium made the cut, a key metric left off the app was one that affects about half of the world's population on a monthly basis: the menstrual cycle. After many, many, many complaints about Apple's "lady problem," the company announced today, rather sheepishly, that period tracking will be a built-feature on the iPhone in the new operating system.
During Apple's WWDC conference Monday, the company announced that "reproductive health tracking" will be in iOS9. On the company's live blog of the event, it included the announcement in small print, perhaps so as not to make such a big deal of the year-long oversight:
It will be introduced along with tracking of iPhone users' sun exposure and how long they're seated. It sounds like Apple is getting into the health nudging (or shaming) game.
Though it's regrettable Apple didn't include the health metric women are most likely to track in its first version of the Health app, it's great that it responded to the outcry from users. Apple has apparently been planning this for some time now. Ida Tin, co-founder of period-tracking app Clue, told Fusion that Apple reached out to her company after it was initially criticized about the lack of period tracking. "They wanted to hear our perspective on what’s important and what data they should collect," she said in a phone interview earlier this year. Her company's app has been available for years now, and integrates with the Apple Watch.
Apple hasn't provided more information yet on which reproductive metrics it will track, but we assume that it will include when a woman's flow is on. If it's really serious about the "reproductive" part, your iPhone Health app may also invite you to start telling it how often you're having sex, because that is, after all, a key component to reproduction. And if you're wearing an Apple Watch, it may not even need to ask.
Update: Yes, the iPhone will track how often you have sex (if you want to tell it).