Apple released a lot of new hardware during last night’s event, but managed a small and unexpected “One more thing” in the middle of the performance: sources had revealed nothing about Apple’s plan to start its own fitness service. Digital ventures, after all, are always easier to hide than physical hardware.
It’s clear now what the sports expert Jay Blahnik – who had never appeared at a Apple keynote before last night – has been working on since joining Apple. Apple Fitness+ is a subscription training service specially developed for Apple Watch that provides access to trainer-led workouts in 10 forms of training: walking, running, cycling, rowing, strength training, core, interval training, yoga, dance and “Mindful Cooldown”.
The workout is synced with your iPhone to view videos and current information about the workout. When you’ve finished, you’ll see statistics such as your speed, heart rate and calories burned.
Apple promises that the service will also offer tailored recommendations for the next workout, based on your goals and achievements so far. Anyone who’s spent half an hour searching for suitable workouts on YouTube will appreciate this feature – assuming of course that it works well.
Every week a new training video will appear in the app, almost like new episodes on Apple TV+. Apple promises to introduce even very unsporty beginners to the exercises and teach them the correct movements. This alone could justify the service: if you can’t do a squat properly, for example, the exercise is of no use and can even be harmful to your joints.
Fitness+ will be released before the end of the year in English-speaking countries: the UK, the US, Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Why other countries are not included despite the fact that the content is completely owned by Apple and doesn’t seem particularly language-dependent is unclear – there are trainer instructions on each video, but this wouldn’t be especially difficult to translate.
A subscription costs £9.99/$9.99 per month or £79.99/$79.99 for a year. Anyone who buys an Apple Watch Series 3 or later in the Apple Store from yesterday will get access to a three-month free trial.
The service will also be included in the premium version of the new subscription package Apple One.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.