When it was launched I found it more interesting than the watch which was presented at the same event. I also think that this initiative would not hace come from Jobs. And even habitually Apple bashing slashdotters must grudgingly respect that it is open source.
One of the research areas was particularly interesting: it was if I remember well a study about asthma symptoms, and the participants phone location was used together with a grid of a few 1000 air polluants sensors in New york city, to better find correlation.
With future generations of the Apple watch likely gaining in sensors (I read that they hired a guy who made a phd out of creating a non-invasive blood glucose sensor, for example), I can indeed imagine that more and more diverse research with 1000s of participants can become much more easy to realise.
Yes, cynical slashdotterd will perpetually try to focus on negative sides of anything Apple does, yet this is in my opinion a worthy service, one that we should rather be thinking about how to create valuable research with.