Apple Fitness+ is coming to iPhone, no Apple Watch needed except for…

The Apple Fitness+ subscription service is coming to the iPhone and you won’t need an Apple Watch to close your move, stand and exercise rings, but there’s a catch.

A young woman in a gym following her strength workout via Fitness+ on iPhone
Does this mean I can finally fire my trainer? | Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? Fitness+ is launching in iOS on October 24. You won’t need an Apple Watch to close your rings, but one important workout metric will be approximated without the wearable device: calories burned.
  • Why care? Because this marks the decoupling of Fitness+ from Apple Watch. The more people Apple can motivate to work out, the better.
  • What to do? Update your iPhone to iOS 16.1 on October 24 to access Fitness+.

Apple Fitness+ on iPhone doesn’t require an Apple Watch

The announcement published on October 20 in the Apple Newsroom confirms that using Apple Fitness+ on an iPhone won’t require an Apple Watch Series 8 or later because the service is launching on the Apple smartphone with upcoming releases of iOS 16.1, iPadOS 16.1 and tvOS 16.1 on Monday, October 24, 2022.

After installing the update, open the stock Fitness app and then touch the Fitness+ tab at the bottom to start using the service on your iPhone or iPad.

With an Apple Watch, your personalized real-time metrics show up on your iPhone, in addition to the iPad and Apple TV. And if you have an AirPlay-enabled Roku, onscreen Fitness+ metrics will soon be available on your Roku as well.

Still a better experience with an Apple Watch

Young woman doing a HIIT training in her living room while using Fitness+ on her Apple TV and watch
Without Apple Watch, iPhone estimates burned calories | Image: Apple

Fitness+ on iPhone lets you access more than 3,000 studio-style workouts. To better track some metrics though you’ll need an Apple Watch and its motion sensors.

For example, you won’t see your real-time heart rate and precise calories burned because your iPhone doesn’t have a heart-rate sensor. Instead, the Fitness app will estimate calories burned and you’ll still be able to close your rings.

New Artist Spotlight series

A young man running on a treadmill in a gym while watching Fitness+ on iPhone
Now you have no excuse to not hit the gym | Image: Apple

Apple is also adding a new Artist Spotlight series content and expanding Time to Walk content with new guests. Artist Spotlight serves workout playlists from artists with not only their regular songs but also collaborations and remixes.

On October 24, Artist Spotlight will use music from Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album.

To celebrate the theme of “Midnights,” the first three workouts will feature special themed lighting, and the Fitness+ trainers will highlight the artist in fun and creative ways. In a Treadmill workout, the first letter of each coaching tip by Fitness+ trainer Scott Carvin will combine to spell “SWIFTIE.” In a HIIT workout, Fitness+ trainer Anja Garcia will coach users through 13-second intervals to lean into Swift’s affinity for the number 13.

A new Yoga for Every Runner workout program will kick off the same day with Scott Jurek, one of the world’s top ultramarathon athletes.

New Time to Walk guests

Apple Fitness+ on iPhone and Apple Watch playing a Time to Walk episode featuring Hannah Waddingham
How about a Time to Sit series? | Image: Apple

There will be also some new Time to Walk episodes as well. Time to Walk features personal audio stories, photos and music from influential people on your wrist. New Time to Walk episodes will bring guests like actor Hannah Waddingham, singer Meghan Trainor and former astronaut Eileen M. Collins.

Last but not least, Fitness+ will introduce three new collections for you to enjoy, titled “Totally ’80s Cycling,” “Best Mindful Cooldowns for Athletes,” and “14-Day HIIT and Strength Challenge.” Read: How to switch between miles and kilometers in the Health and Workout apps on your iPhone and Apple Watch

Fitness+ pricing and availability

Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch showcasing a HIIT workout from Fitness+ with real-time metrics
Apple Fitness+ is now on all your screens | Image: Apple

Fitness+ is currently available in 21 countries. Apple has been expanding the service to more markets, but a global rollout still isn’t complete.

The service costs $10/month or $80/year in the United States. Fitness+ is also bundled with some Apple One subscriptions. You can share access to your Fitness+ subscriptions with up to five other family members for the same price.

You can get three free months of Fitness+ on Apple with the purchase of a new device like an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Apple TV.

One month of Fitness+ is included for existing users. Apple is working with SilverSneakers, Target, UnitedHealthcare and Mobile Health on special offers to let you sign up at no extra cost. Read: How to add specialized workouts on Apple Watch