This past year-or-so has been weird. Home workouts in front of a camera have become the new normal. So it’s no surprise Apple Fitness+ wants to make a bigger impact in this space, too.
As part of Apple’s California Streaming event on Wednesday morning, CEO Tim Cook gave us a new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 7 brings about its most significant redesign since launch in 2015. You can read more about that over here, with some Australian pricing down the bottom (when it becomes available, right now they’re saying “all Apple Watch Series 7 models will be available later this year”.)
But Cook also gave us some extras to Apple Fitness+, the fitness service built entirely around Apple Watch. Here’s a summary and some local pricing.
Apple is touting this as a simple way to practice mindfulness anywhere, anytime.
Users will be able to choose from nine guided Meditation themes — Purpose, Kindness, Gratitude, Awareness, Creativity, Wisdom, Calm, Focus, and Resilience.
This will be delivered via an “engaging” video experience alongside Fitness+ trainers.
Each practice will be five, 10, or 20 minutes long.
With watchOS 8, the Breathe app becomes the Mindfulness app — this features an enhanced Breathe experience, Apple says.
It also boasts a new session type called Reflect, and, of course, Fitness+ guided Meditations.
The new audio meditations in Fitness+ can be played directly from Apple Watch when paired with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones.
Users who want to practise meditation while moving will also be able to track their activity with the Workout app on their Apple Watch while doing their meditation, allowing them to meditate while walking, hiking, or stretching.
According to Apple, body-conditioning workouts like Strength, Core, and Yoga are among the most popular workouts in Fitness+.
Pilates will now be added to Fitness+ as a new low-impact workout type.
Most Fitness+ Pilates workouts can be done with just a mat, while some also incorporate the use of a resistance band.
All Pilates workouts will be 10, 20, or 30 minutes long.
Workouts to Get Ready for Snow Season
OK, I know we’re just coming out of winter and the last thing we care about is being cold as lockdowns start to ease and the sun starts giving us that sweet vitamin D, but put yourself six months into the future.
To prepare users to get back into winter sports, Fitness+ is now introducing “Workouts to Get Ready for Snow Season”, featuring, and designed with, Olympian Ted Ligety and Fitness+ trainer Anja Garcia.
Fitness+ will add to its Artist Spotlight series with new workouts featuring the music of Billie Eilish, Calvin Harris, Imagine Dragons, and Nicki Minaj.
In case you didn’t know, the Artist Spotlight series dedicates an entire workout playlist to a single artist.
Time to Walk
Apple Music and Apple One subscribers will also have access to the Fitness+ Spotlight series, which includes a unique playlist for each individual Artist Spotlight musician.
Fitness+ will also introduce new episodes of Time to Walk, an audio experience on Apple Watch designed to encourage Fitness+ users to get active by walking more often.
Group Workouts with SharePlay
In the coming weeks, SharePlay will come to Fitness+. It will boast support for up to 32 people at a time.
Users will be able to start a Group Workout from a group message thread or FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with AirPlay.
From there, they will navigate to the Fitness app, select a workout or Meditation, see their friends and family onscreen, and get started.
Pricing and Availability
Fitness+ is currently available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US and is coming soon to Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UAE.
Customers who purchase an eligible Apple Watch Series 3 or later can get three months of Apple Fitness+ for free. Existing Apple Watch users can get one month of Fitness+ for free. After that, it will be $14.99 per month.
Fitness+ is available as a subscription service for $14.99 per month, or $119.99 per year.
Fitness+ can be shared among up to six family members for the same price.
Fitness+ is included in the Apple One Premier plan, which also gives customers access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $39.95 per month.
Fitness+ requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.2, and is available when paired with iPhone 6s or later with iOS 14.3.