updated 12:30 pm EDT, Thu September 12, 2013
Will detect switches between modes of transportation
The M7 motion co-processor in the iPhone 5s will enable new features in Maps and iOS' wireless detection system, Apple's website indicates. The company notes that in iOS 7 Maps, the M7 will be used to judge if someone is walking or driving, and adjust turn-by-turn directions accordingly. When driving, the M7 will also prevent a 5s from trying to join nearby Wi-Fi networks; similarly, when the phone is stationary for a long time, it will ping for network access less frequently.
9to5Mac sources claim that Apple is working on still more M7-based Maps improvements. One of these is a parking tool, which would be able to remember where a car is parked, and automatically set a beacon to make the vehicle easier to find.
It's believed that the current plan for the unannounced Maps improvements is to implement them in iOS 8. Apple could, however, conceivably introduce them through a point release. Major upgrades to iOS have sometimes been delivered that way in the past; examples include initial Pad support, which was only made possible through a special version of iOS, 3.2.