It's not like the studio-style-workout-at-home market wasn't fully saturated as is, but with the introduction of Apple Fitness+, the likes of Peloton, iFit and others will have to up their game soon in order to stay in business. Apple's new Fitness+ service offers 10 different workouts including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill (for running and walking), Rowing and Mindful Cooldown.
The Apple Fitness+ is a subscription-based service built around the Apple Watch. It's not surprising that Apple is putting the Apple Watch to good use with the new Fitness+ feature: it is being used more and more often by fitness enthusiasts and is said to monitor heart rate and outside activities with relatively good accuracy, especially in lower heart rate zones.
The Apple Fitness+ incorporates key workout metrics from Apple Watch directly to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV alongside workout content for an "immersive experience", as Apple puts it, set to music sourced from the ever-expanding Apple Music library. An Apple Music subscription is not required for Fitness+.
The app recommends workouts based on your workout history but you can also freely browse the library using the filters. For people who are just starting out, trying a new workout type, or getting back into exercise, Absolute Beginner workouts provide expert guidance through the basics of HIIT, Strength, Core, and Yoga as an option to prepare for the weekly studio workouts.
The Fitness+ workouts are grouped in weird way as some of them are based around a certain home gym equipment (e.g. treadmill) while other workouts focus on areas of the body (e.g. core) or type of movement (e.g. dance). Nevertheless, Apple rounded up a huge roster of fitness personalities to host the workouts as you can see from the image above.
Apple Fitness+: price and release date
Fitness+ will be available as a subscription service for $9.99 / £9.99 / A$14.99 per month or $79.99 / £79.99 / A$ 119.99 per year, and Apple Watch customers will find Fitness+ in the Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
This might not sound cheap at first but Fitness+ can be shared among up to six family members for the same price, making it easy for other Apple Watch users in the household to use the service.
Three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Series 3 or later, and one month of Fitness+ is included for existing Apple Watch users. This extended trial is available for a limited time.
Some people reported that the 3-month trial period might is also available to existing Apple Watch users. An email promoting Fitness+ says: "Update to the latest iOS and watchOS to get started with Apple Fitness+ or redeem your 3 months free offer." We reached out to Apple to confirm this but haven't had any responses yet.
Apple Fitness+ is included in the Apple One Premier plan, which, where available, also gives customers access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for £29.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
Apple Fitness+: early verdict
In its review, Fit&Well praises Apple Fitness+ for providing accessible workouts for all age and fitness levels. The review concludes by saying "existing Apple Watch users will find it's a great way to get the most out of that pricey bit of wrist kit, whilst boosting your health, fitness and wellbeing into the bargain. And for non-users, it offers enough to make you want to be part of the gang."
According to GQ, "...Apple Fitness+ is immediately near the top of a very crowded field on day one. The quality of the production and the workouts themselves is off-the-charts good, and the service is also ideal for anyone who actually wants great music paired with high quality workouts – this combination has proven harder to find than you might guess."
The Wall Street Journal mentions that although the "Apple’s app ... [has] high production value, motivating music playlists and charismatic trainers", it fails to offer an extensive enough library to match the likes of Peloton Live. This is understandable as Peloton has been producing content for years by now.