Apple taps into M7 & motion sensors for indoor positioning in iOS 8, signing up venues to contribute

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In iOS 8, Apple is adding some new Core Location features that let app developers get precise indoor positioning data from an iOS device’s sensors and it’s even letting venues contribute by signing-up to get help enabling indoor positioning. We first exclusively detailed the new feature last year, which taps into the iPhone’s M7 processor and uses WiFi technologies to provide extremely accurate indoor mapping and navigation features to developers.  Read more

RunKeeper launches friendly fitness app “Breeze” for iPhone 5s users

FitnessKeeper, the makers of the GPS tracking and fitness monitoring app RunKeeper, is out with a new activity monitoring app called Breeze. Breeze is simple: it takes advantage of the M7 co-processor on the iPhone 5s that measures steps taken and presents the data in a clean, approachable user interface. Using that data, Breeze reminds you each morning how many steps you took the previous day so you start out motivated. Its activity monitor presents total steps taken each day and summarizes the number of steps and hours spent moving in total.
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Introduced at iPhone 5s event, M7-integrated Nike+ Move fitness app launches

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Introduced by Apple at the September 10 iPhone 5s event, Nike has launched its Nike+ Move application for the iPhone 5s. The app was originally scheduled to arrive on November 6th alongside the new FuelBand SE hardware, but it appears that Nike unleashed the program a bit early.

The application requires an iPhone 5s as it is completely based off of the new iPhone’s M7 motion co-processor chipset. The M7 chip, which Apple plans to integrate with its own mapping software next year, works with the iPhone’s motion sensors (like the compass and accelerometer) to provide by reliable data while simultaneously improving the phone battery’s overall efficiency.

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More M7 details: data storage, battery life, Android motion coprocessor adoption

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When the iPhone 5s launched with the M7 motion coprocessor on September 20, Azumio’s ARGUS fitness app was updated that same day with M7 compatibility. I’ve been an ARGUS user for quite awhile, as it syncs with my LifeTrak and can also independently track steps in the background throughout the day even without a wristband.

The app is now the #1 free Health & Fitness app in the App Store and has been featured as one of the top “Designed for iOS 7″ apps.

Seeing that the app gained M7 compatibility so quickly – it was the first one that I noticed and I haven’t been able to find one that added it before them – I was curious about how ARGUS was able to take advantage of the M7 so quickly. I had the opportunity to speak with Peter Kuhar, product manager for ARGUS at Azumio. He was able to break down some of the intricate information surrounding the M7. Read more

iPhone’s M7 motion processor to integrate with Maps as Apple develops indoor mapping, public transit

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Besides the main 64-bit A7 processor in the new iPhone 5s, Apple has included a dedicated motion co-processor called the M7. The chip powers many of the sensor technologies in the iPhone, such as the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope in order to move the weight off of those technologies from the phone’s main chip. This, in turn, will make the new iPhone more efficient for both performance and battery life for the user.

Apple briefly explained some of the consumer-facing abilities of the M7 motion chip, highlighting that the chip could greatly enhance fitness apps such as those from Nike. But, just like with the new iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner, Apple’s ambitions for the M7 are greater than those discussed earlier this week. According to a source with knowledge of the chip’s development, Apple plans to tightly integrate the chip with its own Maps service in the coming years.

On its official website, Apple presents a brief teaser of what the M7 can do, highlighting a feature in the iPhone 5s (which was not discussed during the keynote presentation):

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Apple officially unveils the next-gen ‘iPhone 5S’ w/ fingerprint sensor & new gold color option

As we were expecting, Apple just officially announced its new iPhone 5S live on stage during its event taking place now on the company’s Cupertino campus. The new iPhone 5S largely retains the same glass and aluminum design as Apple’s previous generation iPhone, but it does include upgraded internals, and a new gold color option and fingerprint sensor that we previously reported. The new iPhone 5S comes alongside the announcement of Apple’s much rumored lower-cost, plastic iPhone 5C unveiled during the event earlier today.

The iPhone 5s includes a new A7 chip, which Apple notes is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, something we reported previously that the company was testing. Apple says the new chip includes 2x general-purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, and includes over 1 billion transistors on a 102mm2 die size. A7 makes the iPhone 5s over twice as fast in terms of speed, according to Apple, and also provides a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56X faster graphics. The new iPhone 5s hardware will also support Open GL/ES 3.0 and will still support 32 bit apps.

TouchID-iPhone5S-fingerprint-sensor-01Apple is also including a fingerprint sensor in the new iPhone 5s for a new security feature dubbed “Touch ID.” Embedded into the home button, the Touch ID capacitive sensor is 170 microns thin and will not only allow users to unlock their device, but also authenticate iTunes purchases.  Apple says that all fingerprints will be encrypted, stored securely and never uploaded to iCloud or its own servers. It also noted the fingerprint sensor will be able to support multiple fingerprints with the same device

The new iPhone 5s also include a new motion co-processor called the “M7″ that Apple says works alongside the A7. It’s able to measure motion data continuously, as well as measure gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer data.

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.

The new chip will work with new CoreMotion APIs in iOS 7 that will allow developers to identify user movement. The first to take advantage of the technology is Nike with a new app called “Nike+ Move”.

Battery life: Apple says the new iPhone 5S will get 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing,a nd 10 hours of LTE and WiFi browsing. You’ll also get around 250 hours standby and 10 hours of video, according to Apple.

The iPhone 5s packs in a new camera system with a dual LED true tone flash, a new five-element lens designed by Apple, a F2.2 aperture, a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels. The camera also includes a new burst mode that will continuously take photos a rate of 10fps, and the 120fps slow mo mode that we reported about back in July. Head below for iPhone 5s pricing and availability: Read more