The M7, a dedicated chip bundled with the A7 SoC that is used for tracking motion, was featured prominently in Apple’s September iPhone event alongside Nike+ Move. However, Nike has yet to release its app, so early adopters of the iPhone 5s have yet to see the M7 in action.
Pedometer++, an app by developer David Smith, appears to be one of the first apps that is designed exclusively for the M7 chip. It’s name reveals its functionality: it literally displays the number of steps you have taken over the past day and week, as reported by the M7 co-processor. The app will also use iOS 7 APIs to display that number as a notification badge on your homescreen — think a poor man’s pedometer widget.
While such an app was technically possible in previous versions of iOS, the beauty of Pedometer++ is that it has no effect on battery life. Since the M7 is already collecting this data, Pedometer++ simply retrieves the number of steps and displays it in a very simple way. It’s free, and is worth a download for any curious iPhone 5s owner — if anything, it’s made my anticipate the release of Nike+ Move even more.