Apple is officially launching its new fitness subscription, Apple Fitness+, on Monday, December 14. With gyms closed in parts of the country, including Apple’s home base in California, the timing is ideal. At launch, the new subscription fitness service will offer 10 types of popular workouts including high intensity interval training (HIIT), strength, yoga, dance, core, cycling, treadmill (for running and walking), rowing, and mindful cooldown. New content will be added weekly. Apple first announced the new fitness subscription app in September.
“Being more active is one of the most important things we can do for our health, but we know choosing to work out can often be a challenge whether you’re very active or just getting started,” said Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies, in the company’s December 8 announcement. “We’re excited for Apple Fitness+ to bring together the metrics from Apple Watch, great music, and a diverse and inspiring trainer team — in a uniquely simple, easy-to-access way across Apple devices — to encourage our users to get fit and stay healthy.”
Fitness subscription pricing
An Apple Fitness+ subscription is available for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, and a subscription can be used by up to six members of the same household. Existing Apple Watch users will get a free month to try out the service, and those who purchase an Apple Watch Series 3 or later will get three months of Apple Fitness+ free.
The fitness subscription is also part of the Apple One Premier subscription plan which also includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 per month. Subscribers can access Apple Fitness+ on their iPhones, iPads or Apple TV, but they need to have iOS 14.3, watchOS 7.2, iPadOS 14.3, and tvOS 14.3 or higher. Apple Watch users will see the Fitness app in a new tab on their iPhones. For iPad users, the app can be downloaded from the App Store. Apple TV viewers can access the app automatically when they upgrade to tvOS 14.3.
Apple Fitness+ offers subscribers lots of options, allowing them to choose their trainer, time, type of workout and music. The fitness subscription also offers intelligent recommendations based on previous activity in the Fitness+ app, the Apple Watch Workout app, and other third-party fitness apps that integrate with the Health app. For those just getting started, there are beginner workouts for HIIT, strength, core and yoga, and rowing, cycling and treatment workouts offer getting started videos to show set up, form and technique. Most workouts are available in 10, 20, 30 and 45 minute increments.
The fitness app also allows users to share their activity with family and friends, or directly to social media to spur on friendly competitions and show progress.
Apple Fitness+ integrates with the Apple Watch, showing metrics on the screen, to help keep subscribers motivated. For example, a user’s heart rate and calorie burn will be displayed on their screen. As they “close” their activity rings, the workout screen displays a celebration. For a little extra competition, the HIIT, treadmill, cycling and rowing workouts offer an optional “burn bar” to show how a subscriber’s activity and effort measures up against others who have done the same workout.
Another feature of the fitness app is the trainers try each other’s workouts, so subscribers get familiar with other trainers. Also, each workout includes a trainer showing modifications, so users can work out in a way that best suits their abilities.
Apple Fitness+ features a wide range of music, including everything from the latest hits and throwback hits to Latin tunes and hip hop and R&B. Users who also subscribe to Apple Music can download songs or playlists from the fitness app directly to their Apple Music library.
There are a number of fitness subscription services (e.g., Daily Burn, Barre3, Peloton, MIRROR) available, so what Apple is offering isn’t necessarily new. What is different is that there is a wide variety of workout types, trainers and music styles available, and the fitness app integrates with Apple’s other products. This makes it easily accessible to users of Apple products. As they have done with Apple TV+, Apple is growing their subscriber base out of the gate by offering free, short-term subscriptions to Apple Watch users. We expect Apple to market the service more heavily in 2021, and to expand workout options as well as features.