Apple is launching its subscription fitness service, which is built mainly to complement Apple Watch, on December 14. Apple Fitness+ was first announced at Apple’s iPhone event in September, and will offer guided workouts on iPhone iPad and Apple TV, with live personal metrics delivered by the Apple Watch’s health metrics monitoring.
The fitness offering will cover 10 workout types at launch, including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), strength, yoga, dance, core, cycling, indoor walking and running, as well as rowing and cooldown. All cases are led by real trainers that Apple selected to record the interactive sessions, and they’re soundtracked from “today’s top artists,” according to the company.
The interactive elements are fed mostly by Apple Watch stats, and will display heart rate metrics, countdown timers and goal achievement “celebration” graphics that display on the screen when a user fills up their Apple Watch Activity rings. This is a level of direct integration that’s similar to what Peloton achieves with its service, but without requiring a whole connected stationary bike or treadmill to work.
Other distinguishing features of the service include a recommendation engine that leverages data, including previous Fitness+ courses taken by a user, as well as their Apple Watch Workout App data and other third-party health and fitness app integration information from Apple Health to recommend new workouts, trainers and exercise routines. Apple’s use of third-party integrations is particularly interesting here, since it’s using its platform advantage to inform its service personalization.
Apple is also committing to weekly updates of new content across all categories of workouts, with varying intensity and difficulty levels. Anyone using Fitness+ can also share their workouts with friends and family, and compete with others directly in the app if they want.
There’s also an optional Apple Music integration, which allows users to favorite songs and playlists directly from workouts to add them to their library, but users won’t require Apple Music in order to access the music used for the training videos, which are divided into different selectable “styles” or genres.
Apple Fitness+ is available starting December 14, and will retail for $9.99 per month, or $79.99 when paid for a 12-month period up front. It’s also part of Apple’s new Apple One Premier service bundle alongside other services.
This is definitely a major competitive service launch to existing subscription fitness offerings, including Peloton. Apple’s bundle offering, along with its system’s flexibility and syncing across its devices, could make it an easier choice for beginners and those just getting started with more serious training, though the lack of live classes might be a downside for some.