An iOS beta clue seems to point to a forthcoming walking workout feature from Apple.
An iOS 14.4 beta feature shared by Khaos Tian on Twitter and confirmed by 9to5Mac this week describes a new outdoor Apple Watch option that downloads walking workouts to the watch when it’s connected to power or near a paired iPhone. According to the feature’s description in the screengrab shared to Twitter, the so-called Time to Walk workouts are later deleted upon completion. The option showed up in the Workout settings of the Apple Watch app, but it’s not yet functional.
Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment about the beta feature.
Standalone Fitness+ support coming soon? (On iOS 14.4 beta, not actually working right now) pic.twitter.com/lz9ZK603SZ
— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) January 5, 2021
Currently, Apple Watch users can track their walking workouts through the Workout app on their Apple Watch to contribute to stats like active calorie burn and time spent moving. These workout tools can be used with or without a cellular plan. As 9to5Mac noted, this new option would seem to indicate that the workout that’s downloaded to the watch may have some kind of companion element, and 9to5Mac was able to find references to “WORKOUT_GUIDED_WALK” in the beta source code.
To all this, I say: Hell yes, give us the guided walking workouts. I walk a couple of miles most days when I’m out with my dog or taking her to the park, and I often turn to Calm’s Mindful Walking sessions when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. Those guided walks are mostly geared toward the breath and grounded awareness, but I found them to be a tremendous help during the last few months.
It’s unclear whether the workouts would require a subscription to Apple’s new Fitness+ service, or how the workouts themselves would be structured. Personally, I’d love to have more variety in my mindful walking routines. But, either way, count me in.