While it doesn't exactly come as much of a surprise, it seems that Apple has plenty more goodies in mind for the iPhone (and, presumably, the iPod touch), with a recent batch of no less than six patent applications revealing some of its plans to turn the device into what it describes as a "lifestyle companion." In this case, that rather vague term refers to what is effectively an upgrade to the Nike+iPod system, with the iPhone's accelerometer and other built-in capabilities also coming into play in addition to the usual external sensors. It doesn't stop with workouts, however, with the patent applications also indicating plans for a diet coach of sorts, which could even make use of the iPhone's camera to scan bar codes on products. Those components would also of course all work together, with the system able to suggest workouts based on your diet and physical condition and vice versa. Of course, these being patent applications, there's no indication as to when we might actually see such a system, but it sure seems a good deal more likely than some of Apple's other ideas.

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Apple patent apps reveal plans for iPhone as "lifestyle companion"