Why iOS 9’s Facedown detection doesn’t work on iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPad and iPod touch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015

Facedown detection stands as one of the underrated features in iOS 9’s rich arsenal of power-saving tactics designed to help extend your run time by up to an additional hour.

Facedown detection avoids turning the display on when a notification comes in and your phone is put facedown. But as it turns out, Facedown detection doesn’t work on all devices compatible with iOS 9 and there is a good explanation for that  why. Read More


Activity by LogYourRun helps you visualize the intensity of your activity

By Sébastien Page on Oct 10, 2014

I’m not a slug but I’m also far from being a health freak. You won’t find me at the gym, and if you ever see me running, then call 911 because it means something went terribly wrong. Yet, with the introduction of the M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5s which helps you keep track of how many steps you made in a given day, I became more aware of little things I could do to maintain my health. I quickly established a daily goal of 6,000 steps, which I usually track with Pedometer++, a beautifully simple step tracker.

Federico Viticci of Mac Stories recently introduced me to a similar application called Activity by LogYourRun. Just like Pedometer++, Activity tracks your steps but it also helps you visualize the intensity of your activity in a very original way. Read More


Hidden icons in iOS 8 show Apple’s working on car-finding feature

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2014

Last fall it was reported that Apple was working on a new feature for its Maps application that could assist users in finding their car. Using the iPhone’s M7 chip, it was said the app could register the location of a parked vehicle, and then help its owner return to that spot at a later time.

The expectation was that this car-finding feature would turn up in iOS 8, but WWDC came and went with no mention of the functionality. It still could make its way into the public release of the software though, as new evidence shows Apple has indeed been working on such a feature… Read More


iOS 8 uses M7 chip and motion sensors for accurate indoor positioning

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 5, 2014

Apple with iOS 8 is advancing the CoreLocation API with new features designed to provide users with even more reliable, faster and precise indoor positioning in supported venues. Currently, iOS determines your location using a combination of GPS, a crowd-sourced location database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and the cellular triangulation technique that determines your rough location based on cell tower signal strength.

As GPS/cellular are often unavailable or perform poorly inside buildings and in underground places like parking lots, iOS 8 can resort to using a combination of iBeacon transmitters, if any, and motion data provided by your device’s accelerometer, compass and gyroscope sensors… Read More


RunKeeper launches Breeze, fitness/activity tracking iPhone 5s app with eye-candy UI

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2014

RunKeeper has released a new iOS application that counts steps taken and tracks your activity. I know there are now dozens of apps in the App Store.

That being said, RunKeeper is a huge player in fitness and Breeze is brilliantly designed, gamified and available totally free of charge, no in-app purchases required whatsoever.

The software takes advantage of Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor inside the iPhone 5s to track up to seven days worth of activity, even when the app isn’t running and without taking any noticeable hit on your battery life.

Breeze is a free download from the App Store. I’ve included nearly a dozen pretty screenshots and more information right after the break so give the app a whirl and let us know what you think in the comments… Read More


Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor caught tracking movement after battery dies

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2014

Apple’s M7 motion tracking chip found inside the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display is apparently able to track a user’s motion activity even after the battery dies. According to a post by Reddit user Glarznak, his iPhone 5s was able to track his every movement even after the battery died on him. He was able to confirm this by using the Argus fitness app which showed a number of steps for the four days that his phone was dead… Read More


OptimizeMe wants to be your only life logging app

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2014

Readers who frequent this blog may have figured by now that I’m a big fan of health and fitness apps for my iPhone. I’m especially fond of logging programs that tap Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor which lets my iPhone 5s record up to a week’s worth of motion data with a minimal impact on the battery.

The problem is, the M7 folder on my Home screen is packed to the gills with apps.

I use one app to track my steps taken and calories burned, another app to take care of my gym training, yet another program to monitor my sleeping habits… Then there are apps that track my entertainment activities such as movies and TV shows watched, programs that recognize places and track my activities with GPS – you get the idea.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one app to rule them all? Enter OptimizeMe by German-developer OptimizeMe GmbH, now available free in the App StoreRead More


Fitbit updated with MobileTrack feature via iPhone 5s’s M7 motion coprocessor

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2013

The list of apps enabled for Apple’s power-efficient motion tracking chip, the M7, just keeps on growing. Fitbit, one of the finest fitness apps in the App Store, has been bumped up to version 2.1, now available in the App Store, and can now use the iPhone 5s’s motion tracking chip to monitor your activity without draining your device’s battery or having the app active for that matter.

M7 support has also made possible a new MobileTrack feature that allows you to use some of Fitbit’s tracking features, but without buying the company’s wearable tracking accessories. More on that and other changes in this Fitbit update right below… Read More


Popular Day One journal app updated with new iOS 7 design, M7 support and more

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2013

Good news for folks who use Day One this morning. The popular journal app has been updated with a new iOS 7 design and several new features, including support for Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor.

Additionally, the update, which brings the app to version 1.12, includes support for the new M7 coprocessor. And this allows the app to do things like count your steps and auto-track your daily activities… Read More


RunKeeper is now optimized for Apple’s M7 motion-tracking chip

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2013

RunKeeper, a personal trainer in your pocket, has been updated today and among a pair of AirDrop-related enhancements is a little gem which particularly stands out: support for Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor.

As a long time user of fitness-related apps such as Pedometer++, Argus and Strava Run, I can’t tell you how many times I wished these GPS-enabled apps were not power hogs.

The M7 is easily one of the most overlooked iPhone 5s features. The aforementioned fitness apps as of recently have M7 motion tracking and you can just immediately tell how the chip improves the experience by not forcing you to keep an app open at all.

The M7 works independently of the main A7 processor, dutifully recording and storing up to a week’s worth of motion data. This allows an app to load up your motion history as if it were active all along. Without a doubt, M7 support is a major power-friendly enhancement. So, how does the newly-implemented M7 integration make RunKeeper better? Read More


Another app showcases the iPhone 5s M7 chip: Pedometer++

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2013

Argus is the first app to officially take advantage of the new M7 motion coprocessor found inside the iPhone 5s. As the floodgates are open now, small wonder fitness software makers are scrambling to update their warez with support for the power-efficient chip.

If you own an iPhone 5s, it’s already tracking your movement on a daily basis so M7-compatible apps have a history of what iOS has already recorded to work with.

You can now add David Smith’s Pedometer++ to your list of apps which take advantage of the M7 rather than dutifully perform motion calculations day in day out using the power-hungry A7 processor… Read More


New M7 details reveal outstanding power efficiency

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2013

Apple has made quite a noise about its brand new chip, the M7 motion coprocessor designed to offload taking sensor measurements from the iPhone 5s’s main A7 processor. Because the M7 requires at least one-sixth of the power versus the 64-bit A7 chip, it can log data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass sensors independently of the A7 package, thus allowing for substantial power savings.

The details of how this data is captured and what power savings developers can count on were kept to Apple’s chest until the Argus app made headlines as the first fitness software optimized for the M7 silicon. Here are a few previously unknown details about Apple’s motion coprocessor hardware… Read More


No, THIS is the first app to take advantage of the iPhone 5s’ M7 coprocessor

By Sébastien Page on Sep 25, 2013

Earlier today we ran a story about Strava Run, a fitness tracking app that tracks your runs and analyses your performances. Like many other media outlet, we believed Strava was the first app available in the App Store to take full advantage of the iPhone 5s new M7 coprocessor.

As it turns out, we were wrong. As many readers were quick to point out, Strava was not the first app available in the App Store to fully use the M7.

The first app to do bring Motion Activity M7 support to an app is Argus, an all around health and fitness tracker that has been been available for quite some time… Read More


Strava Run app becomes first to utilize iPhone 5s’ M7 [update: NOT]

By Cody Lee on Sep 24, 2013

UPDATE: Strava Run is not the first app to take advantage of the M7. Read our post about Argus for the details.

Strava, maker of fitness tracking software, has been referred to as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in fitness right now. And tonight, it proves that again with a new update to its Strava Run app.

Version 3.5.3 of the app, which uses GPS to track your runs and bike rides, features a handful of notable improvements. But the most significant, though, is the addition of support for the new M7 coprocessorRead More


New in iOS 7: Motion Activity

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 20, 2013

Apple’s iOS 7 software includes a new privacy section nested inside the Settings application. It exists to explicitly cater to next-gen fitness apps specifically designed with Apple’s new M7 chip in mind. As you know, the M7 motion coprocessor is iPhone 5s-exclusive (actually a rebranded NXP LPC18A1 chip – that’s the power of marketing to you)… Read More


iPhone 5s chips: Samsung-made A7, NXP-made M7, Bosch accelerometer, Sony CMOS

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 20, 2013

After conducting its ritual teardown analysis of the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, both of which went on sale earlier today in the United States, China and an additional nine major global markets, the repair experts over at iFixIt teamed up with Chipworks for a high-tech analysis of the iPhone 5s’s innards.

Putting the Apple-designed 64-bit A7 chip under a microscope, deep scans reveal the new iPhone engine is still being made by Samsung… Read More


Apple allegedly working on Maps car-finding feature

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2013

Apple hasn’t talked much about its new M7 motion coprocessor that was specifically designed to work alongside the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s to improve battery life by offloading some tasks that don’t require the full power of the main A7 processor.

Some of these tasks include polling motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass sensors without waking up the A7 chip

According to a new report, Apple has bigger plans for the M7 chip and could use it to enable new geolocation Maps features in a way that won’t bring a significant hit on the battery… Read More


Apple announces new M7 Motion coprocessor

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 10, 2013

Along with Apple’s just announced A7 chip, comes a companion chip called the M7 that serves as a “Motion coprocessor.” The purpose of this chip is to constantly measure motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass built into the iPhone 5s.

This promises to open up a new playing field for health and fitness apps, in that they can actively track whether or not you’re stationary, walking, driving, and more. Read More