The new Apple iPhone 5S, released earlier today, looks to bring an upgrade for those using their phone as a fitness device. iPhone users have had a myriad of fitness apps and accessories to choose from, but these were often hindered by limited battery life. A new chip could make the latest iPhone a worthy cycling accessory.
The new M7 coprocessor sits alongside the A7 chip. Its purpose is to measure motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. Where the A7 chip previously handled these tasks, the M7 claims to be far more efficient, and in turn, requires less battery power. Combine this with the updated battery in the iPhone 5S and cycling apps should stay running for far longer.
In addition to increased battery efficiency, Apple has released a new "CoreMotion" application programming interface (API). According to Apple, this will allow app developers to further enhance fitness app capabilities and make better use of continuous data capture.
With many brands moving to Bluetooth compatible accessories, smart phones are becoming a viable alternative to the bike computer. And recent Bluetooth compatible power meters from the likes of Powertap and Stages spell the beginning for true smart phone integration.