THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Unite 4

Turn Websites into Apps on Your Mac


Posts tagged with "fitness plus"

Apple Recaps Its 2020 Services, Including the App Store’s Record-Breaking Holiday Season

In a press release today, Apple provided an update on its services. According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services:

Now more than ever before, customers around the world have found inspiration and value in the breadth and quality of Apple’s services, which have impacted their lives in big and small ways every day. We’re incredibly optimistic about where we’re headed, and we believe that the opportunities for developers and the creative community are endless, as are the positive and meaningful benefits to our customers.

Among the highlights Apple shared are App Store revenue numbers for the 2020 holiday season, which were greater than 2019 for the same period and once again set an all-time record for single-day sales on New Year’s Day:

The trend continued over the holiday season, with App Store customers spending $1.8 billion on digital goods and services over the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, driven largely by spending on games. Customers ushered in 2021 by setting a new single-day spending record of over $540 million on New Year’s Day.

Apple also noted that developers have earned more than $200 billion since the inception of the App Store in 2008 and that it kicked off the App Store Small Business Program at the end of 2020.

In addition to apps, Apple recapped its other services:

  • Apple Music, which added several new features in 2020 that Apple says have been used by more than 90% of iOS 14 users
  • The Apple TV App, which debuted on new smart TVs and videogame consoles in 2020 and is now available on over 1 billion screens in more than 100 countries
  • TV+, which gained a dedicated tab in the TV app and was nominated for 159 awards, receiving 45
  • Apple News, which added local news for certain cities, included special coverage of the pandemic, the racial justice movement, and the US election, and added audio to News+ in 2020
  • Fitness+, which debuted just before the New Year
  • Apple Pay, which Apple says is accepted by more than 90% of US stores, 85% of UK stores, and 99% of Australian stores
  • Apple Arcade, which now has more than 140 games with games that have received more than 50 award nominations
  • Apple Books, which has over 90 million monthly active users
  • Apple Podcasts, which is available in 175 countries and 100 languages
  • iCloud, 85% of whose users have enabled two-factor authentication

Every year I’m struck that the App Store continues to set holiday season records for sales. The success of the App Store has been nothing short of remarkable, but as Apple’s press release demonstrates, Apple’s current services story today extends far beyond apps.


The Wall Street Journal Interviews Apple’s Jay Blahnik on Fitness+

The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Vanderbilt nabbed an interview this week with Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness technologies. The two discussed the strategy for Fitness+, Apple’s new subscription workout service which is launching next week. From the article:

“Metrics is motivation,” says Blahnik, who in the early 2000s helped launch Nike’s connected running program. “The metrics react to the things the trainer says and the things that you do. We believe that makes it much more immersive than simply following content that’s available anywhere else.” Portability, he says, is also key. A Fitness+ workout is meant to be done anywhere, on any screen, on any machine, from a gym to a hotel room to—more than ever—at home.

This is an insightful look into the kind of content which Fitness+ will hold. Workouts (at least at launch) will likely be highly accessible due to not requiring advanced gym equipment. There will also be a personalized suggestion engine designed to encourage cross-training for a well-rounded fitness routine:

Another innovation, says Blahnik, is the system’s personalization engines, which will suggest workouts from a growing library based on your history—both inside and outside of Fitness+. “We always say: It shouldn’t take 20 minutes to find a 20-minute workout.” That doesn’t mean simply guiding cyclists to ever more cycling workouts; rather, as Apple says, “it looks for a way to gently encourage you to cross-train.” As Blahnik notes, “We have a carousel called ‘Try Something New.’ So if you tend to do more linear workouts, like running or cycling, you would be suggested things like HIIT [high-intensity interval training] or yoga, that would move your body in different directions.”

The whole article is worth a read, although most of it is behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall if you aren’t a subscriber.

Permalink

Fitness+ Service Launching December 14th

Today, Apple announced that Fitness+, the new exercise class service initially announced in September, will debut Monday, December 14th.

Fitness+ costs $9.99/month or $79.99/year and requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or later. The service is also part of the Premier tier of the Apple One service bundle, which also includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of shared iCloud storage for $29.95 for up to six family members. Fitness+ offers a 1-month free trial to everyone and a 3-month free trial for anyone who purchased an Apple Watch on September 15th or later.

Apple has hired a team of fitness instructors to provide a steady stream of studio-style fitness classes that can be watched from an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Classes are integrated with the Apple Watch, which transmits fitness metrics to the device you’re watching a class on, displaying them onscreen as you exercise. Metrics tracked include workout duration, calories burned, heart rate, and Activity ring status.

The new service is also tightly integrated with Apple Music. According to Apple:

Music is a central part of the Apple Fitness+ experience, and the trainer team weaves music throughout the design of every workout. Users can choose from nine different styles, including Latest Hits, Chill Vibes, Upbeat Anthems, Pure Dance, Throwback Hits, Everything Rock, Latin Grooves, Hip Hop/R&B, and Top Country, and see the full workout playlist before they start. They can also filter by music to find the right workout to fit their current mood. An Apple Music subscription is not required to enjoy the music in Fitness+, but for those who have one, favorite songs or an entire playlist from Fitness+ workouts can be downloaded to their Apple Music library to listen anytime.

Apple is offering ten categories of classes at launch including the following nine categories:

  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Treadmill
  • Rowing
  • HIIT
  • Strength
  • Dance
  • Core
  • Mindful Cooldown

Fitness+ classes can be accessed from a new tab in the iPhone’s Fitness app, which is also available on the iPad and Apple TV for the first time.

In September, Apple said that new classes will be added every week and that classes will be intelligently recommended to subscribers based on their fitness level and past classes. The service is meant to accommodate a wide range of users from beginners to experts and minimize the equipment necessary to participate in classes.

I enjoy going for long walks and runs outside during the summer, but I’ve been looking forward to Fitness+’s launch with the weather turning cold in Chicago. I still plan to get outside this winter, but having the option to exercise indoors on a cold, snowy day is appealing, and I hope Fitness+ will help keep me in reasonable shape until I can lace up my running shoes again and head outdoors.


Apple One Subscription Bundles Are Now Available

Today, Apple launched its previously-announced Apple One subscription bundles, which offer the following three combinations of services:

  • Individual – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95
  • Family – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of shared iCloud storage for $19.95 for up to six family members
  • Premier – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Fitness+, Apple News+, and 2TB of shared iCloud storage for $29.95 for up to six family members

Compared to paying for each service separately, the Individual plan saves users $6, the Family plan saves $8, and the Premier plan has the greatest savings at $25 but is only available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia because News+ is limited to those countries. Apple is also offering a 30-day free trial and 3% cash back if you use the Apple Card.

The Apple One bundle signup flow.

The Apple One bundle signup flow.

You can currently sign up for an Apple One bundle by going to the App Store on an iOS or iPadOS device and tapping your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen. Tap on your profile at the top of the next screen and then Subscriptions, where you should find a banner promoting Apple One.

Moving iCloud Storage from one Apple ID to the another.

Moving iCloud Storage from one Apple ID to the another.

If like me, you have separate Apple IDs for iCloud and media purchases, you will be asked to move your storage plan to the Apple ID you use for iCloud, which cancels the old iCloud Storage subscription.

Signing up for the Premier tier was a no-brainer as someone who already paid for 2TB of storage, a Family Apple Music subscription, and Apple Arcade. News+ isn’t something I was willing to pay for separately, but it’s nice to have, and I’m very interested in trying Fitness+ as the weather gets colder here in Chicago, making outdoor walks and runs more difficult.