One week after the introduction of Time to Walk, Apple released another software update aimed at expanding the Fitness + Footprint. With today’s introduction of developer seeds for watchOS 7.4 and iOS 14.5, the company is adding a new feature that allows workouts to be streamed to an AirPlay-enabled TV with some restrictions.
Users can stream audio and video from the company’s subscription-based fitness app to AirPlay 2-enabled sets. This is a nice addition for users without Apple TV and for users who want to take the service with them on their travels (when people stay in hotels again) via compatible hotel TVs.
The biggest difference is that metrics are not shown on the screen. That means you will lose things like your rings, calories burned, etc. For this information they have to rely on the connected Apple Watch and the iPhone or iPad. Not the end of the world, but they’re an important part of the Fitness + experience. Apple undoubtedly wants to continue to incentivize its own hardware ecosystem while working on expanding the exercise app.
Fitness + came at the right time for the company as COVID-19 has caused many of us to lose our gym membership in favor of exercising at home. There is a question of the sustainability of home exercise in general with the introduction of numerous vaccines.
The maintenance and further development of these applications requires flexibility. When I spoke to Apple about Fitness + last week, the company found that it envisions people taking the app with them on the go. That could mean doing a Fitness + workout on iPad at the gym, or finding a way to put the experience in a bag and use it when you travel.
The feature is currently available as part of the developer seeds of the new watchOS and iOS versions and should be available to consumers when the final versions go live.