With the launch of its flagship iPhone 5s, Apple also introduced its all new, faster 64-bit A7 processor, coupled with the M7 co-processor. In many ways it is this M7 processor which makes the iPhone 5s such an impressive piece of kit, and here's why...
The M7 is a dedicated motion processor which will continuously measure motion data from the phone's accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.
This new chip should free up the A7 CPU from processing all the motion data, thus increasing its processing power and help increase the battery life of the iPhone 5s. It will also offer developers many more opportunities to innovate with the smartphone’s sensor technology.
Developers will have easier access to the M7 chip through the new Core Motion Framework, primarily for feeding data into health and fitness apps. Expect updated applications from the likes of Runkeeper, Sports Tracker, and Endomondo, plus hardware such as the Fitbit and Nike’s Fuelband & Nike+ Move.
Having the integrated chip is also more efficient; instead of buying your fitness tracker, remembering to wear it all the time, then uploading the data onto your computer- as well as needing to constantly keep it charged- with the iPhone 5s' chip, all of this is done just using your phone. Anytime you have your iPhone in your pocket or purse, the device is constantly recording data about your movement.
The M7 is able to differentiate between walking, running, and driving when integrated with Apples Map app it will have many interesting uses such as indoor mapping and public transit directions. Maps will be able to automatically make the transition from giving you driving directions to walking directions as you leave your car.
Sources say that Apple is testing a tool for its Maps app that, with the M7 chip, could analyze when your car is parked. When you park your car, the iPhone will register the car’s location. Now, when you return to a car park to locate your car, your iPhone will be able to assist with finding your car since it already knows the vehicle’s location.
Apple has not hinted too much about how it intends to exploit the full potential of the M7. Some commentators have suggested that it may be a gateway to Apple's own wearable technology (the iWatch).
However, from the information we have, the M7 chip looks to give location tracking and healthcare apps the ability to build strong programs that help in your everyday life.
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