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Use the Fitbit app, iPhone 5S to count steps without a tracker

Using an iPhone 5S? You no longer need a Fitbit tracker to take advantage of the app and compete with your friends.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Fitbit is known for making some of the best activity trackers on the market. It's latest product, the Fitbit Force, sits atop the fitness tracker market according to our very own Brian Bennett's review.

In an attempt to gain more users, Fitbit released an update to its iOS app introducing a new feature called MobileTrack for iPhone 5S owners. The feature takes advantage of the M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5S, which can count your steps and track your activity.

It's not the first app to use the coprocessor to display activity stats; as we have previously covered there's a healthy list of different apps available for that.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

To get started with MobileTracker, download the Fitbit app from the App Store and sign up for an account. During the process you'll be asked to set up a tracker, but at the bottom of the screen is the option to set up the app without one. If you previously had a Fitbit tracker and want to use your old account, you'll need to log in and select "Set Up a New Fitbit Device" from the account screen. MobileTrack will be the first option on the following screen.

After everything is set up, the app will track your activity based on information from the iPhone 5S and its M7 coprocessor. So as long as you have your phone on you, your steps will be counted and tallied in the Fitbit app. You can add friends, track your weight, food, and even compete with friends on Fitbit.

This simple feature is a smart way to introduce users to the Fitbit system, with an end goal of converting them from a MobileTrack setup to a Fitbit on the wrist or waistband.