Five years after the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple finally has a fitness subscription service. Amazon beat Apple to the punch by less than a month.
Over a year ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple’s greatest contribution to history will be in the field of health. Fitness is one part of that, and Fitness+ is Apple first attempt to monetize beyond hardware in the health space. It also joins TV+, News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, iCloud storage, and the iPhone upgrade program as members of Apple’s subscription family, many of which you can get in the Apple One Premier plan.
There will always been new hardware, and Apple Watch 6 is an interesting piece of technology, but a subscription plan will drive more revenue over time.
Apple’s Fitness+ is fairly simple in concept:
- Personalized workouts and recommendations in nine categories
- Updated every week
- “World-class” trainers
- Integration with Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Music
- Feedback on what to try or do next
- Comparisons to others who have done the same workout before
- $ 9.99/month for the whole family (up to six people)
- $ 29.95/month with Apple One Premier (Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage)
Picking a workout will be sort of like filtering down options on an e-commerce site or a what-do-you-want-to-eat-tonight app. Select a style, select a trainer, the amount of time you want to spend, and the music you’d prefer, and your workout starts. The workouts are on-demand, not live, although you could imagine live being added to the platform at some point.
If you’re using your iPhone or Apple TV, your workout rings from your Apple Watch will show up on-screen, showing you how close you are to your goals in the activity, stand, and workout categories.
You can do workouts in Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown, but some workouts won’t require any equipment. Or, just a pair of dumbbells.
At $ 80/year, Apple Fitness+ compares to $ 48/month for Amazon with Halo, although that service will not capture nearly as much data on exercises. Halo does, however, have a body composition feature and stress component that Apple lacks. Fitbit’s premium membership costs $ 107/year and also comes with celebrity coaches, in this case Ayesha Curry. And Peleton, long the high-end of home fitness, is about $ 50/month, or $ 600/year.
One more thing:
Fitness+ comes with a privacy guarantee: “All Apple Fitness+ workout recommendations are powered using on-device intelligence,” Apple says. “When using Fitness+, all workout data is saved to the Health app on iPhone, and neither calories nor the workouts and trainers users choose will be stored along with their Apple ID.”
Fitness+ launches later this year in six English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US, and people can get free access for up to six months by purchasing with Apple retailers like Best Buy.