Back in September when Apple launched the iPhone 5S I reported that the most exciting aspect of the new phone was the M7 chip. That new M7 processor is designed specifically to log movement and activity, which, in my opinion, made the iPhone 5S the ideal platform for fitness tracking – an opinion that Fitbit seems to share.
Fitbit has recently updated its iPhone app to take advantage of the M7 chip and essentially turn the phone itself into an activity tracker within the Fitbit ecosystem. The new Mobile Track feature is specific to iPhone 5S users and provides basic fitness activity tracking.
That word “basic” is a good indicator that Fitbit isn’t about to shoot itself in the foot and provide all the features that you’d get from one of its dedicated activity trackers within a free app. But it also shows that Apple’s decision to include the M7 chip and its accompanying Core Motion API was a wise and forward thinking one.
When you think about it, the folks at Fitbit are being pretty smart. The Mobile Track feature in the free Fitbit app will give users a taster of the Fitbit experience, and if they like it, the next step would be to invest in a Fitbit device to take their tracking to the next level.
With Nike and Fitbit both leveraging the M7 chip and providing a taster of fitness tracking without needing to buy a dedicated device, it’s safe to assume that others will follow.
I’ll be meeting with Fitbit next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, so check to find out what Fitbit has planned for 2014. In the meantime, check out our reviews of the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip activity trackers.