Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,609
16,743



Fitness tracker Strava has launched an update to its Strava Run iOS app today that takes advantage of the new M7 "motion coprocessor" in the iPhone 5s to deliver a number of new features, reports The Verge. Specifically, the app now includes an auto-pause feature in order to allow users to get better feedback in their fitness by pausing their runs when movement is stopped, and reduced battery consumption that only uses GPS functionality when needed.

strava_run-800x466.jpg
Originally announced at Apple's September Event 2013, the M7 coprocessor was said to continuously measure motion data with the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass inside the iPhone 5s.. Additionally, a report taking a closer look at Apple's M7 co-processor revealed that the chip is actually an ARM Cortex-M3 part running at 180 MHz, allowing for low-power collection of motion data.

Nike+ Move, another fitness app, will also take advantage of the new M7 coprocessor in order to determine the different movements of a user for better accuracy, in addition to the Nike Fuel movement ratings that integrate into Game Center. Strava Run is a free app and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: 'Strava Run' Updated with Support for M7 'Motion Coprocessor' on iPhone 5s
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,142
427
RunKeeper also does the auto-pause thing, but not requiring an M7 coprocessor. I also think the battery drain is pretty minimal with that app.
 

mrxak

macrumors 68000
I get that this is something Tim Cook likes a lot, and is really pushing, but honestly I don't find these sorts of exercise trackers very interesting, especially the ones that are "social". But whatever.

I'd like to see a more efficient GPS chip and some really interesting new sensors on the iWatch, if that is ever happening. Like medical stuff. It could really be a boon for people with certain conditions.
 

za9ra22

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2003
873
670
I get that this is something Tim Cook likes a lot, and is really pushing, but honestly I don't find these sorts of exercise trackers very interesting, especially the ones that are "social". But whatever.

Not just Tim Cook. Activity trackers are big business now, and when implemented right they provide users with good motivational tools to improve fitness and diet. Whether they appeal or not, they are apparently helping a lot of people achieve healthier lifestyles.
 

aliensporebomb

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2005
1,900
327
Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
Oh geez!

I love Strava Cycling. Let's hope they get that going soon. I don't have a 5S as yet but I could see this being a bigger deal going forward. I constantly track my walking/cycling/running and I've used other apps in the past but this could cement it as "all strava, all the time".

Wow, look at the screenshot - this guy ran 228 miles in the last 28 days? Wow.
 
Last edited:

Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
5,468
4,051
Magicland
I get that this is something Tim Cook likes a lot, and is really pushing, but honestly I don't find these sorts of exercise trackers very interesting, especially the ones that are "social". But whatever.

I'd like to see a more efficient GPS chip and some really interesting new sensors on the iWatch, if that is ever happening. Like medical stuff. It could really be a boon for people with certain conditions.

They mentioned a benefit I care about here. I use motionx to track my bike rides. It's great, but heavy on battery. If they can easily toggle the GPS on/off when I'm not moving it would help greatly.
 

ateslik

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2008
372
492
Strava is one of the best apps in the app store. I use it all the time for rides and runs. I'm super stoked to hear that they are reducing battery usage. When I rode from SF to LA I had to create a solar panel rig just to keep Strava going.

Now if they would only add swimming!
 

soch

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2010
72
0
portland
M7 will not make you a superman.

There are claims that the M7 could do, but in reality these may not be fully true & be an exaggeration by blogging community & Apple.

The steps & activity type (stationary, walking etc) can be obtained only if the app is running in foreground. This is not what most of the users do for tracking apps. They like to start the app press the power button to switch off the screen and put the iPhone away in backpack or pocket, listen to music. As soon as the phone goes in a sleep mode, the steps & activity info from M7 can't be obtained unless the user wakes the app up. Unlike the GPS, music or VOIP functionality which are truly background enabled, M7 data is not.

So don't get misled by the "claims" made by the apps that they are really going to save battery using M7 and keep the user informed even when the app is running in the background.
 
Last edited:

kdarling

macrumors P6
The steps & activity type (stationary, walking etc) can be obtained only if the app is running in foreground.

Right, the M7 is always counting and watching the activity type on its own, but since there don't seem to be any step/activity notifications available, a fore or background task must manually request the data.

Since apps cannot run in the background unless they've registered for an allowed reason to do so, an app can only get the M7 data if it wakes up for one of those reasons.

I think it's usually done by asking for background location updates. Of course, then the user must agree to let the app use location services (which might confuse the user about an app that's just supposed to count steps).

So don't get fooled by the "claims" made by the apps that they are really going to save battery using M7 and keep the user informed even when the app is running in the background.

The good thing is that an app need only wake long enough to change the display, which is better than staying awake and chewing up main CPU time to watch the accelerometer etc. OTOH, if it's using location changes as the cue to wake, that could chew up more power watching the GPS / WiFi nodes.
 

FreeState

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2004
1,730
112
San Diego, CA
Right, the M7 is always counting and watching the activity type on its own, but since there don't seem to be any step/activity notifications available, a fore or background task must manually request the data.

Since apps cannot run in the background unless they've registered for an allowed reason to do so, an app can only get the M7 data if it wakes up for one of those reasons.

I think it's usually done by asking for background location updates. Of course, then the user must agree to let the app use location services (which might confuse the user about an app that's just supposed to count steps).



The good thing is that an app need only wake long enough to change the display, which is better than staying awake and chewing up main CPU time to watch the accelerometer etc. OTOH, if it's using location changes as the cue to wake, that could chew up more power watching the GPS / WiFi nodes.

There is an App called Moves that uses the M7 chip to track foot steps and locations. Its a background location request. It does not seem to have any battery drain that I noticed.

There is also Argus that tracks your foot steps with the new chip. It uses location services as well, but does not have a map or location history like Moves does. It also does not seem to drain my battery.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
There is an App called Moves that uses the M7 chip to track foot steps and locations. Its a background location request. It does not seem to have any battery drain that I noticed.

Moves will use the M7 in the future, but it does not rely on having it. They have been doing their own lower power activity recognition. As their CEO noted:

"... unlike Apple’s devices, Moves can identify cycling as a separate movement.

"Also, Moves can run on existing iPhones, whereas to use Apple’s new co-processor, consumers have to buy a new phone. In addition, Moves is already working on future iterations of its software that will use the M7 coprocessor.

"As of the recent news, Moves can also run on Android devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher."
 

darkfiber

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
821
42
Columbus, OH USA
There is also Argus that tracks your foot steps with the new chip. It uses location services as well, but does not have a map or location history like Moves does. It also does not seem to drain my battery.

I just installed ARGUS today on my 5s. I thought it was interesting that it filled in all the steps I took since I got my iPhone 5s this past Wednesday. I wonder how long M7 keeps the data for things like how many steps you have took etc...?
 

FreeState

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2004
1,730
112
San Diego, CA
Moves will use the M7 in the future, but it does not rely on having it. They have been doing their own lower power activity recognition. As their CEO noted:

"... unlike Apple’s devices, Moves can identify cycling as a separate movement.

"Also, Moves can run on existing iPhones, whereas to use Apple’s new co-processor, consumers have to buy a new phone. In addition, Moves is already working on future iterations of its software that will use the M7 coprocessor.

"As of the recent news, Moves can also run on Android devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher."


Oh thanks -I assumed since Apple had it in the "Designed for iOS7" area it used the new tech. Sorry bout that.
 

soch

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2010
72
0
portland
Right, the M7 is always counting and watching the activity type on its own, but since there don't seem to be any step/activity notifications available, a fore or background task must manually request the data.

Since apps cannot run in the background unless they've registered for an allowed reason to do so, an app can only get the M7 data if it wakes up for one of those reasons.

I think it's usually done by asking for background location updates. Of course, then the user must agree to let the app use location services (which might confuse the user about an app that's just supposed to count steps).

Yes, this probably can be done. But GPS is the highest battery drain in the phone. If you set the location updates to occur at the lowest setting to conserve battery, the steps info will be off and would be updated after couple of hundred meters or kilometers.


The good thing is that an app need only wake long enough to change the display, which is better than staying awake and chewing up main CPU time to watch the accelerometer etc. OTOH, if it's using location changes as the cue to wake, that could chew up more power watching the GPS / WiFi nodes.

The app can't wakeup to change the UI, only a user action can bring the app's UI to foreground. You can always post notifications or alerts.

Though this is a good suggestion for the apps which are already using GPS monitoring.

----------

There is an App called Moves that uses the M7 chip to track foot steps and locations. Its a background location request. It does not seem to have any battery drain that I noticed.


I had installed when it came out & deleted it because it was a huge battery drain on my iPhone 4S. Tried again on my 5S & had to delete it due to battery drain.

----------

I wonder how long M7 keeps the data for things like how many steps you have took etc...?

M7 stores 7 days of data.

Our app WeatherRun stores all the steps data & one can view steps for a month (or day).
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.