I’ve long said that the best feature of the iPhone 5s is the M7 motion coprocessor. It’s this small processor that records and stores all your motion data — and can even determine if you are walking, running or on moving transport (like in a car or on a train). However, by default, while the M7 is always recording and storing your motion data, iOS 7 actually has no way to show you this data. It’s up to third-party app developers to write apps that can take advantage of the M7’s data. And the best of these apps is Moves, which is our Daily iPhone App.
I’ve put Moves through its paces for the last few weeks and it has quickly replaced my previous favorite fitness-tracking app on iOS (because that app hasn’t offered support for the M7 yet). Moves has a simple enough UI: The home screen shows a dot that increasingly grows in size as you move throughout the day. Tapping this dot will cycle through the number of steps you’ve taken, the number of calories burned, the number of miles walked and the amount of time spent moving.
Below the dot, you’ll find the Storyline, which is a timeline of your day’s activities. Locations are shown in a white pill-shaped icon that lengthens according to the amount of time you’ve spent there. Location names can be set, like “Home” or “Work,” and you can also look up location names thanks to Move’s Foursquare integration. When you leave a location, a colored line starts to grow. A pink line means you’re running; a green line means you’re walking; a blue line means you’re cycling; and a gray line means you’re on some form of motorized transport. Tapping any of these lines will take you to the map view where you can see the exact route you took plotted out.
The best part of Moves is that you don’t have to do a single thing to activate it. Since the M7 is tracking your movement all the time — and Moves accesses that data — there is no need to open the app to tell it you are about to begin a journey. This ensures that you’ll get accurate movement data all day long.
Moves is the fitness app of the future, thanks in large part to all the motion data collection being handled on Apple’s M7 end. What Moves does is give that data a beautiful UI to turn it into readable information by the human eye. That’s not to say Moves is perfect.
One annoying thing with it is it can take several seconds to update the movement data each time you launch the app. Other M7-compatible apps I’ve used don’t seem to suffer from this lag. Also, I frequently go on many late-night walks, often spanning the hour just before and just after midnight. Right now, Moves has no way to set when you want a day to end, so my movement stats during that midnight change are actually split across two different days. It would be nice if Moves could give me the option of setting a day to end at, for example, 1 AM, when I know my movement will be done for that day before I go to bed (I keep late hours).
But besides the minor drawbacks, Moves is a great app and shows the power of Apple’s new M7 chip. Moves is US$2.99 in the App Store.
Daily iPhone App: Moves is the fitness app of the future originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 03 Dec 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.