The coronavirus has transformed the way we work out and take care of our bodies, but the online fitness revolution began far before 2020. According to a recent report, digital fitness as an industry subsector is now thought to be worth an eye-watering $100 billion globally, fueled by the rise of fitness applications and hardware designed to push us to the next level.
That’s without mentioning the meteoric growth of the smartwatch and, in particular, the Apple Watch, which has single-handedly changed the way we monitor our health and think about fitness. Apple Watch not only offers major convenience for checking notifications and alerting us to workout progress, but it quite literally has saved the lives of users.
In recent years, Apple has taken the Apple Watch experience to the next level, making it waterproof to track swim sessions, adding new workout types via watchOS such as dancing and yoga, and offering competitive workouts with friends, encouraging us all to aim higher and “close our rings.”
It was only a matter of time, therefore, that the company would venture into even greater territory in the fitness world. Rumored for several months, Tim Cook and Co used Apple’s September Event – a keynote traditionally held for iPhone launches – to premiere a whole new service offering from Apple: Apple Fitness+.
Designed to sit atop the foundations of Apple Watch and watchOS, Fitness+ offers a new way to work out and stay healthy at home. What’s particularly interesting to note is, despite Fitness+ looking like a kneejerk reaction following the shelter-at-home orders around the world following the COVID-19 outbreak, Apple has been working on an expansion into the world of fitness for a couple of years now.
Indeed, many tech analysts viewed the service as well-timed for a work-from-home world, but Apple’s Jeff Williams told journalists that work started “quite a while ago” on the service. Apple also confirmed that, when gyms reopen, Fitness+ will work with compatible gym equipment like smart treadmills, allowing the company to adapt to changing times and user environments.
Apple says the new service “intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualize right on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, offering a first-of-its-kind personalized workout experience,” offering deeper integrations and insights than competitors such as Peloton, which lost more than $1.5 billion over Christmas due to an ill-judged campaign.
Apple Fitness+ is designed for users of all backgrounds and experience levels, offering access to studio-style workouts delivered by inspiring world-class trainers and underscored by motivating music from renowned artists. What’s even more exciting is that Apple Music can be integrated into workouts, so users can listen to their favorite songs and work out without feeling like they’re doing so on their own.
Speaking of the new service, Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for Health Technologies, said that the company was “so excited to energize our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” and added that “diverse studio workouts that are suitable for all ability levels, led by a phenomenal group of unique trainers” would help users take “working out with Apple Watch to the next level with unparalleled engagement, convenience, and inspiration.” It’s this level of personalization that will undoubtedly allow Apple to dominate the market when the service launches later in the year.
Fitness+ will offer personalized recommendations so that users can get into their next workout quickly, whilst inspiring them to try new things. Apple says that it uses a custom recommendation engine that will consider previously completed to suggest new options that match the workouts users select most often. Integration with Apple Watch means that, once a user has started a workout on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, their watch will monitor their progress and offer prompts. Apple also says that metrics from Apple Watch will be shown on the screen so users can check metrics, taking out a common pain point of workout apps.
The new Apple Fitness+ experience will be available inside of the new Fitness app on iOS, and it will also be coming to iPadOS and tvOS. The company has confirmed that workout types such as Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown will be available from day one, each available with curated music from personal trainers. What’s more, there’ll be workouts every week offered in a range of lengths and disciplines to ensure users of all fitness and experience levels can achieve their potential.
Are you looking forward to getting your hands on Fitness+? Let us know and check back soon.