The beauty of the M7 chip

Scott Buscemi:

For pre-iPhone 5s devices, ARGUS usually drains about 20-30% of battery life per day while running in the background. The app continually checks for motion and calculates the distance and number of steps using the accelerometer and GPS. With the M7, however, the app does not need to be running in order to keep track of the number of steps – all of that data is tracked by the M7. As such, ARGUS no longer takes up any battery power while running in the background and the stated battery life from Apple – 10 hours 3G talk time, 250 hours of standby – will stay exactly the same.

This is just huge.

  • tylernol

    very clever idea. But just remember, the M7 is really an off-the-shelf low power NXP ARM SOC…Samsung,etc will certainly be imitating this idea in their next “innovation”.

    • Herding_sheep

      And Apple will already be a step ahead, coming up with new implementations and uses. I thought the use of it in Maps was very clever and definitely just scratching the surface.

      Whether they come up with new co-processors for different tasks or just find new ways to use M7 and the motion sensors, it seems like they have something much bigger planned. This would go along perfectly with everything we know so far about Apples wearable. And with battery life supposedly the biggest engineering challenge right now for it, having this M7 able to measure motion data without draining any battery life just seems like a perfect fit for that.

      On a side note, one thing I noticed with my 5s is that the M7 is collecting this motion data whether or not you have a fitness app installed. When I installed MotionX’s app and gave it permission to access motion data, it magically had all my steps and movements from the days before I even installed the app. Very cool and a very nice surprise.

      • tylernol

        this was definitely something that came up when they were prototyping wearables/iWatch. A single core A5 (such as the one stuck in the latest Apple TV revision that made folk puzzle over why Apple spun another version) and the M7 seem like plenty to run a wearable device with a small display.

      • Jack

        This explains why there’s no battery difference in their tests: it’s always-on.

    • Samsung is going to have a harder time convincing 3rd party devs. Its the fragmentation thing.

  • Loren Finkelstein

    Just to indicate how cool this is. The M7 chip is recording the data anyway. I decided to try Argus and it automatically populated with how many step I took each day in the past week.

  • Agarun Ilyaguyev

    The fact that this eliminates that battery life asterisk for a good portion of background services/processes is substantial.

  • “Not innovating anymore, my ass!”