Nike+ just released its Fuelband companion app Nike+ Move, the first major app to make use of the M7 processor and CoreMotion application programming interface (API) found in Apple’s recently released iPhone 5s. The news, reported by 9to5Mac, comes a month after the sportswear giant took to the stage at Apple’s September iPhone event, where details of the M7 chip and the planned app were first unveiled.

The Perfect Combination

Designed for use with the Nike+ Fuelband SE, which was announced just a few weeks ago, the new Move app will take advantage of the dedicated motion-tracking hardware and software combination in the iPhone 5s to offer users more detailed statistics on their daily physical activities. The app monitors movement throughout the day and night with unprecedented accuracy. The amount of time and intensity of activities is analyzed, then converted into “Fuel”—the digital unit of measure used by the Fuelband app—which can be tracked and compared with friends’ results through the Apple Game Center. Because the app remains active even when the phone is inactive, it avoids unnecessary battery drain and the need to keep the application running in the foreground, according to MacRumors.

The Competitive Edge

While the mobile fitness tracking space has seen a number of notable entries recently, including the Jawbone UP and FitBit Flex wristbands, Nike+ emphasizes the competitive aspect of the Fuelband and Move app, presenting a number of features designed to keep users active and goal-oriented. In the app’s official iTunes description, Nike+ suggests app users “move more often and win as many hours as [they] can throughout the day.” The display on the Fuelband SE progressively turns from red to green as Fuel is collected from daily activity. This active element of achievement may encourage users to make additional efforts to maintain an active lifestyle.

A Sign of Things to Come?

The M7 co-processor found in the iPhone 5s is designed to constantly monitor data from the phone’s accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope. By assigning these tasks to a dedicated processor, battery life and performance can be improved significantly. An API called CoreMotion is also implemented in iOS7, allowing app developers to leverage all the benefits of the M7 chip.

As noted by Engadget, Nike+ suggested the new Move app is an introductory experience, hinting that the full potential of the M7/CoreMotion partnership is yet to be realized or demonstrated. It’s entirely possible, of course, that Apple may be planning its own software to make use of the motion-sensing capabilities. With rumors of the company’s entry into the wearable technology space, it has a clear opportunity to tie in the additional functionality of the M7 with an Apple-designed smartwatch.

Nike+ Move is now available as a free download in the App Store. Do you have a Fuelband and an iPhone 5s? What are your thoughts on the new features offered by the M7 chip?

Image courtesy of Flickr




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