As Apple’s dominance in the app world is threatened by Google’s Android, the technology giant is working to keep its competitive edge. Recently, the company filed a patent for a Fitness Center App with social media components, Mashable reports.
The United States Patent Trademark Office published Apple’s patent on Thursday, and since then industry watchers have speculated about when the app will be released. The app would help connect fitness enthusiasts with the gyms they frequent; it will also enable iPhone users to find workout partners and track their workouts.
Moreover, the app also has a LivingSocial-esque feature that allows gyms to offer coupons to potential customers. By connecting users, the app could also cultivate competition among friends and even strangers, aiding weight loss and spurring good eating and exercise habits, analysts contend.
The app’s individual features are available in a number of other apps, but Apple’s patent is the most comprehensive of them all. Health and fitness apps are growing in popularity as public health experts have shifted their strategy in fighting obesity, moving away from mainstream advertising to more locally focused initiatives.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple won 563 patents in 2010, a sharp rise from the 289 it won in 2009. Last year, it was ranked in a list of the top 50 companies for patents.