updated 11:30 pm EST, Mon November 4, 2013
Currently limited to iPhone 5s, program tracks all motion
On Monday, Nike debuted its new Nike+ Move app (free) on the iOS App Store following its appearance at the iPhone unveiling in September. The app, which leverages the motion data found in the iPhone 5s' M7 co-processor, effectively turns the premium smartphone into a whole new level of fitness app, mimicking wearable but more primitive fitness monitors like Nike's own Fuelband, the Fitbit Flex or the Jawbone Up, among many other rivals.
The M7 chip is a very low-power motion detector that continuously gathers data about a user's movement through the company's leveraging of accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. It is designed to analyze those readings without draining the users' battery, and extrapolate date from the readings super-efficiently. For example, the chip can determine if you're moving because you're in a car, if you're running or whether you are just walking.
The co-processor is also able to supply its findings to other applications as well, allowing for specialized programs. The Nike+ program is one such app, and can use the app to present a report on the time, type and overall summary of the day's movements. It has a social aspect that can allow friends to compare each other's movement records for the day, fostering competition.
The data also makes it possible for the app to offer features such as comparative statistics, a report on each type of activity, maps of where users went and more. Because it relies on the M7 chip, it is currently only available in the iPhone 5s.