Online fitness services such as Peloton and Daily Burn have become very popular, and now Apple wants its piece of the pie. The company now offers Apple Fitness+, a guided fitness video service that was originally aimed exclusively at Apple Watch owners, but which now can be used with nothing more than an iPhone. Fitness+ combines your Apple devices, videos, and collected exercise data to allow you to have satisfying workouts.
This article will tell you all you need to know about Apple Fitness+. We’ll update it whenever there are new developments.
Updated 10/20/22: With the release of iOS 16.1 on October 24, Fitness+ will no longer require an Apple Watch.
The latest: Apple Watch no longer required
With the release of iOS 16.1, you no longer need an Apple Watch to use Fitness+. iPhone users in any of the 21 countries in which Fitness+ is available can sign up right from the Fitness app (Fitness+ will be the center tab on the bottom). Once subscribed, you can run workouts on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV without an Apple Watch. You won’t get the same real-time data on screen as you would with an Apple Watch, and you don’t get the exclusive Watch features like Time to Walk, Time to Run, and Meditations, but you can still do workouts and even progress your Move ring with estimated calories.
How do I sign up for Apple Fitness+?
Apple Fitness+ launched on December 14, 2020, and requires iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, and/or tvOS 14.3 or later to sign up and use Apple Fitness+. To use your Apple Watch, it needs to be on watchOS 7.2 or later.
To use Fitness+ without an Apple Watch, you need iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS 16.1. An iPhone is required to subscribe, then other devices can be used to run workouts.
Once the updates are installed, launch the Fitness app on your iPhone or iPad (iPad users may need to get the Fitness app from the App Store). Look for the Fitness+ tab at the bottom of the app. Tap it to sign up. If you already have Apple One, all you need to do is tap or click through a couple of screens about data usage.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll see the Apple Fitness+ workouts, organized into lots of categories and sections.
On an Apple TV, you may need to restart the device for Fitness+ to appear.
What is Apple Fitness+?
Internet-based fitness services and apps that work on your iPhone have been around for a while from companies like Aaptiv, Daily Burn, and YogaGlo. They saw a huge growth in popularity during the Coronavirus pandemic. With the Apple Watch, Apple has a device that’s perfectly made to help people get the most out of their workouts.
With health and fitness being one of the primary uses of the Apple Watch, Apple decided to create the Apple Fitness+ service tailored around it. Fitness+ features a series of workout videos that users can play on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, or stream via AirPlay to any AirPlay-enabled TV or streaming device. Data is collected by the Apple Watch and displayed with the workout video, so you can track stats such as workout time, heart rate, and calories burned.
In October of 2022, Apple dropped the requirement to own an Apple Watch. You don’t get the same real-time data and workout tracking, but you can watch the workout videos and follow along.
How does Apple Fitness+ work?
To get the most out of Apple Fitness+, you need an Apple Watch, which is used to track your data as you work out. Starting with iOS 16.1, it is no longer required, but the experience is better.
You then need another device on which to play the videos: an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Apple Fitness+ will be in the iPhone’s Fitness app, the middle tab on the bottom row. Apple has released a new Fitness app for the iPad and Apple TV that only contains the Fitness+ workout videos.
Apple has a catalog of workout videos for you to use. When you are ready to work out and start a video, your Apple Watch is automatically triggered to record your data. As you do the workout along with the video, your fitness data appears on the screen. You’ll also get notifications when you reach fitness goals.
When you finish a workout, you see a data summary screen, and there’s a “Burn Bar” that allows you to compare stats with other people who have done the same workout.
All that data that’s collected—will my privacy be protected?
Apple says that the workout recommendations are “powered using on-device intelligence,” so it’s not collected online. The calories burned and the trainers you choose are not stored with your Apple ID.
What types of workouts does Apple Fitness+ have?
Apple will offer 10 different workout types at launch:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
New workouts within these categories are added weekly, so you don’t get bored doing the same workouts over and over.
Apple Fitness+ can make workout recommendations based on your past activity data collected by the Apple Watch. Filtering tools for workout type, trainers, duration, and music are provided so you can exercise the way you want.
What is ‘Time to Walk’?
In January 2021, Apple added a new feature to Fitness+ called “ Time to Walk.” These are 25-40 minute audio programs wherein each episode features a famous guest who recorded their stories while “walking outside or in locations that are meaningful to them,” so it will feel like you’re going on a walk alongside them.
At launch, there were four guests: Dolly Parton, Shawn Mendes, NBA all-star Draymond Green, and Emmy award-winning actress Uzo Aduba, and the first season had a total of 18 episodes. A second season began on June 28, 2021. At the end of the walk, you’ll get a short playlist of songs shared by the celebrity walk-along buddy, but you’ll need a subscription to Apple Music to download them to your Apple Watch.
You can use your own equipment, so for example, if you want to do a Cycling workout, you can use your own exercise bike. You don’t need to buy special equipment just for Fitness+. Many workouts don’t require equipment at all.
If you have a gym membership, you can do Apple Fitness+ there. You can play the videos on an iPhone or iPad and use your gym equipment or workout rooms.
I’m new to working out, or I’m coming back to it after an absence. Would Apple Fitness+ work for me?
Apple Fitness+ has an “Absolute Beginner” program for users who are just getting started or are returning to regular workouts. The program teaches the body movements often used in the workouts, so you can feel comfortable while you find your groove.
Can I play music while I work out?
The workouts include music, and Apple Fitness+ works with Apple Music so you can save the songs played and use them for future workouts, or listen to them at your leisure. This requires an Apple Music subscription.
What devices do I need for Apple Fitness+?
Apple Fitness+ requires only an iPhone 8 or later, once you have updated to iOS 16.1. If you wish to use it with an Apple Watch, you need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
If you want to use an iPad, you must have and iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation or later), iPad mini 4 or later, iPad Air 2, or iPad Air (3rd generation).
Apple Fitness+ can be used on any Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
Can I use Apple Fitness+ with AirPlay 2?
At its initial release, Apple Fitness+ did not work with AirPlay. That feature was added at a later date, and you can use AirPlay to stream your workouts from your iPhone or iPad to any AirPlay 2 compatible TV or Mac. However, the workout metrics collected by the Apple Watch will not be displayed.
How much does Apple Fitness+ cost?
Apple Fitness+ is a subscription service that is free for the first month. After that, you pay $9.99/£9.99 per month, or $79.99/£79.99 a year. A subscription can be shared with up to five other people through Family Sharing. An Apple Music subscription is not required.
Apple Fitness+ is part of the new Apple One service bundle, where you can sign up for several Apple services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, and iCloud in addition to Apple Fitness+ for a special price.
Can I try Apple Fitness+ for free before I sign up?
You can. There are a few trials plans available, but they may expire so check for their availability. Anyone who buy a new Apple Watch Series 3 or laterwill get a free 3-month Apple Fitness+ trial.