iOS 15 May Track Your Food Intake Simply By Snapping a Picture of Your Meals

Health Apps for iPhone Credit: Social Cut / Unsplash
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Considering that Apple is expected to unveil iOS 15 in less than two weeks, it’s quite surprising how little we still know about the new operating system. Usually, by now there have been at least a few leaks to give us an idea of what to expect, but this time around, it’s been mostly silence.

To be fair, Apple has just had its biggest and most exciting spring product lineup in years, so perhaps the leaks have exhausted all of their usual sources.

Alternatively, maybe Apple has just gotten better at playing its cards close to the vest when it comes to major iOS releases. Or, maybe iOS 15 will simply be a more pedestrian release this time around.

Although we certainly hope this last possibility isn’t the case, we can’t rule it out entirely, as Apple does tend to take a step back every few releases and focus on “maintenance” updates.

In fact, when you consider that this is precisely what happened with iOS 6, iOS 9, and iOS 12 — all iterative updates that were designed to boost performance and stability — and do the math, it seems like that trend could very well continue with iOS 15.

Still, even those relatively minor releases added a few interesting new things. They were far from revolutionary, but they were definitely evolutionary. iOS 6 brought us Apple’s completely redesigned Maps application and Passbook — the app we now know as Wallet. iOS 9 added a more proactive Siri and new Spotlight features, and iOS 12 delivered Memojis, Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and new AR features.

So even if the cycle repeats itself with iOS 15, we can expect at least a few interesting enhancements, and now MacRumors reports that a new unverified source is offering up some interesting tidbits that we haven’t heard about before, including a new Food Tracking feature in Apple’s Health app.

The information was obtained by writer Connor Jewiss, and also added a few other small things we’ve already heard about, such as new notification settings and other UI changes — although it’s fair to say that these have become a typical part of any major iOS release.

Food Tracking in iOS 15

The source provided no additional details beyond stating that this food tracking feature would accompany other new additions to Apple’s Health app, which means it likely won’t be a standalone app.

Other than that, it’s hard to say what form it’s going to take, but it’s worth keeping in mind that Apple Health already has plenty of categories for tracking food and other nutritional information. Third-party fitness apps like MyFitnessPal, Yazio, and even meal ordering apps like HelloFresh can already tie into these to write information into Apple’s HealthKit frameworks.

Hence, it’s likely that the source is talking about something a bit more sophisticated than just letting users enter raw data.

After all, Apple would have to add something pretty compelling to make users choose that over the half-dozen or more food tracking apps that are already on the App Store, which sport large databases of foods with detailed nutritional information and even provide bar code scanning for quick and easy logging of meals.

However, considering some of the very cool things Apple can already do with photo recognition, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if this allowed users to actually snap a picture of a physical meal and identify key items using machine learning algorithms.

Consider that iOS 14 can already identify specific food items in a picture and describe them using VoiceOver, and it recently announced that it’s expanding this capability as part of its Accessibility features.

According to Siri, this photo contains “A plate of meat and vegetables next to a glass of wine.”

While it’s a big stretch to go from simply identifying food items in a photo to actually figuring out their nutritional content, the photo recognition aspect would still be a unique aspect that works as a starting point to allow users to match foods up with a more comprehensive database.

Those who like to try to read the tea leaves from Apple’s event invitations may even find a connection in Apple’s WWDC event invite, which it turns out hid the Emoji unicodes for a fork and knife, as discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong.

While we personally still believe this is Apple’s very clever attempt to reproduce the well-known “Eat, Sleep, Code” meme, we suppose there’s no reason it couldn’t have a double meaning. There’s also a MacBook shown there, and rumour has it we may see one of those at WWDC too.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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