M7 MO­TION CO-PRO­CES­SOR

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Be­sides the A7, Ap­ple has also un­veiled the M7, a new chip that con­tin­u­ously mea­sures mo­tion data from the ac­celerom­e­ter, gy­ro­scope, and com­pass. Be­fore the iPhone 5S, the load of track­ing th­ese data fell on the main pro­ces­sor, which was an overkill. By trans­fer­ring this load to the M7 - which Chip­works has iden­ti­fied as NXP Semi­con­duc­tors' NXP LPC18A1 sil­i­con (http://go­hwz.ws/1eARHDw) - it al­lows for a longer bat­tery life on the iPhone 5S; for ex­am­ple, the phone will re­duce net­work checks when it de­tects that it hasn't moved for a while.

More im­por­tantly, the M7 is avail­able for third-party de­vel­op­ers to take ad­van­tage of through its CoreMo­tion API, which opens up a wealth of pos­si­bil­i­ties. For in­stance, a fit­ness app can draw phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity data from the M7 with­out con­stantly en­gag­ing the A7, and this data will be su­per-ac­cu­rate be­cause it comes di­rectly from the phone's sen­sors. Un­like a sep­a­rate health or fit­ness de­vice, there's no bracelet to wear (and to lose), and there's no cum­ber­some Blue­tooth sync­ing process. Also, be­cause the M7 never stops col­lect­ing data, an app will have data to act upon from the get-go. To give another ex­am­ple, a nav­i­ga­tion app will know when you're driv­ing and when you're walk­ing, and switch the func­tion­al­ity ac­cord­ingly.

The Nike+ Move app is the first app to be in­tro­duced to sup­port the M7 chip. Be­sides track­ing your daily ac­tiv­ity to of­fer a FuelBand-like ex­pe­ri­ence, it even ties in with Game Center. How­ever, as of this writ­ing, it's not yet re­leased on the App Store.

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