iPhone owners can finally break a sweat without an Apple Watch – but there's one small catch

Apple Fitness Plus on iPhone
(Image credit: Apple)

Starting on October 24, iPhone owners will be able to enjoy a workout from Apple Fitness Plus without the need for an Apple Watch device.

Fitness Plus did exist on iPhones prior to this, but you needed to have an Apple Watch in order to use the service. Moving forward, users will have full access to the entire Fitness Plus library “featuring over 3,000 studio-style workouts and meditations” across all 21 countries where the service is available. This includes Australia, Brazil, Russia, and the United States. Setting up seems pretty easy as you just use an iPhone to sign up. You can also stream workouts to a corresponding iPad or Apple TV. If you don’t have either, Apple states you can use AirPlay to stream “on compatible third-party devices”.

To support the updated service, the Fitness app will fully integrate Fitness Plus which can be found in the middle tab. There, you’ll be greeted with a familiar sight as that’s where the Apple Watch’s Move ring, coaching advice, awards, and activity-sharing features can be found. However, it doesn’t appear that everything from the Apple Watch version of Fitness Plus will be present on iPhones.

To see real-time metrics, you will still need to connect your smartphone to an Apple Watch. Also, certain types of content, like Time to Run, won’t make the jump.

New content

Speaking of content, Apple also announced new workout programs and special deals for people who are interested in trying out Fitness Plus before committing to a subscription.

Coming to the service is a new entry of Artist Spotlight starring Taylor Swift. Every Monday for the following three weeks, there will be a new workout featuring Swift’s music based on different types of activities like cycling or dancing. Fitness Plus is also adding three new additions to Collections, “a curated series of workouts and meditations from the [service’s] library.” One of which is Totally ‘80s Cycling, consisting of eight cardio workouts set to energetic music from the 1980s. 

As for the deals, Apple is offering a three-month trial of Fitness Plus for people who purchase select devices like the iPhone 14 or the fifth-generation iPad Air. The full list of supported devices can be found at the end of the announcement. Apple is also partnering up with four other companies, including SilverSneakers,  to “offer new ways to sign up for the service…”. Members of SilverSneakers can enjoy a free subscription to Fitness Plus starting next year, plus access to exclusive workouts. 

iOS 16.1

In order to use the new Fitness Plus, you will need an iPhone 8 or later plus download iOS 16.1, which is also set to launch on October 24. There’s a fair amount of hype surrounding this latest iOS release because iPhone owners will be getting some significant new features. One of them is Live Activities, a series of widgets present on the lock screen that “keep track of ongoing events.” 

That date will also see the release of iPadOS 16.1 and the long-awaited macOS Ventura. Be sure to read TechRadar’s coverage of the new operating system and the cool new features that will arrive. Apple is getting rid of passwords in this update; instead going with passkeys for better security

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.