Apple Fitness+ Uses SharePlay to Unlock Group Workouts, Meditation

Apple’s workout streaming service Fitness+ is adding the ability to exercise or meditate with people in other locations from today.

iOS 15 introduced a new SharePlay feature which allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to have shared experiences during a FaceTime call. Now that same feature is being used to allow group exercise or meditation sessions to occur through Fitness+. Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies, believes it’s “a really fun way to connect with friends and family, even trade some words of encouragement or friendly smack talk.”

Up to 32 people can participate in one of these group Fitness+ events using FaceTime on an iPhone or iPad. Apple is promising that the Fitness+ session will “stream completely in sync for every participant,” and you can opt to watch the workout using Apple TV. Apple is also promoting healthy competition by notifying everyone when someone “moves ahead on the Burn Bar or closes their Activity rings.”

More people in the US will be able to take advantage of Fitness+ for free starting next week, too. Apple has announced “approximately 3 million fully insured UnitedHealthcare members” are getting a free, year-long subscription to the service. All they have to do is enroll to take advantage of the offer. And from next year, anyone on a self-funded health plan can buy an Apple Fitness Bundle which includes a 12-month Fitness+ subscription and a $25 Apple digital gift card.

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More people around the world are also gaining access to Apple’s fitness service. Fitness+ is launching in 15 new countries on Nov. 3, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. The service is available in English, but with subtitles available in Brazilian Portuguese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

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