Amongst Apple's many big announcements yesterday was one of particular interest to workout fiends: the company will be launching Apple Fitness+, its first fitness-oriented subscription package, later this year. Powered by the Apple Watch, the new service takes aim at popular existing digital fitness apps such as Nike Training Club and Peloton. With that in mind, here's a quick look at how the upcoming release compares to other standouts in the space.
Pros: The subscription will offer 10 different types of trainer-led workouts, including strength, HIIT, yoga, cycling and treadmill modalities, with many routines requiring nothing more than dumbbells or simple bodyweight. Apple Music will be integrated, and you’ll be able to see key stats like heart rate and calories burned. You’ll get realtime feedback and guidance, as well as a data summary at the end of every workout.
Cons: It's super Apple-centric. To use Fitness+ on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
Cost: $10 per month or $80 per year; included with the premium version of the Apple One bundle, which costs $30 per month
Pros: World-class Nike Master Trainers guide you through everything from bodyweight sessions and yoga flows to cardio routines, HIIT classes and full-equipment gym workouts. There's also nutrition tips and a podcast, part of why NTC is a repeat App Store Editors' Choice award winner.
Cons: Some users are unhappy with the transition that happened this spring, when Nike made the premium version free but also removed a lot of the pre-existing workouts and plans.
Pros: Thousands of on-demand and live videos available via a number of streaming TV platforms, including AppleTV, Roku and ChromeCast. There are also guided outdoor runs and tracking of key metrics.
Cost: $13 per month for a Peloton Digital Membership (no equipment needed); $39 per month for an All-Access Membership covering both the bike and treadmill
Pros: This audio-based service has a library of thousands of music-paired workouts led by expert trainers, plus 30 new ones each week. They cover major modalities like running and yoga but there are also programs for more specific goals like weight loss, race training, flexibility, sleep and more.
Cons: Aaptiv announced a video component just last month; time will tell if it can stoke the app's 200,000 users as much as its audio programming does.
Cost: $15 per month or $100 per year
Pros: This one is probably the most fundamentally analogous to Fitness+, in that it all emanates from a tracker on your wrist. The app offers plenty of trainer-led bodyweight, run and walk workouts, but it also suggests routines based on your Fitbit's own tracking data.
Cons: Users lament a number of bugs — most notably problems casting to a TV — adding that, especially in the free version, the workouts don't get particularly advanced.
Cost: Standard level is free; premium level starts at $7.99 per month