Apple has revealed upgrades to its Fitness+ platform
Among the major additions is a new Group Workouts feature
Powered by Share Play, the feature will allow up to 32 people to exercise together at once
Fitness+ will also be made available in 15 new countries this year
In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades to its Fitness+ platform, coinciding with the launch of its new Apple Watch Series 7 and iPhone 13 products.
Among the additions is a new Group Workouts feature, which will enable subscribers to exercise alongside their friends via FaceTime or a group message thread.
Powered by Share Play, the feature will allow up to 32 people to exercise together at once.
Users will be able to start a Group Workout from a group message thread or FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with AirPlay.
From there, they will navigate to the Fitness app, select a workout, see their friends and family onscreen and get started.
During a Group Workout users will see their metrics and progress toward closing their Activity rings, while also seeing and hearing friends as they work out.
With Group Workouts, when someone moves ahead on the Burn Bar or closes their Activity ring, users will be notified so they can celebrate together — or even trade some friendly smack talk to keep each other going.
Other new features on the Fitness+ app will see the introduction of guided Meditation sessions and Pilates workouts.
Apple will also significantly expand the app's reach geographically.
Currently available in six countries, the US$9.99/month service will make its debut in 15 new countries this year – Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies, said: “We're excited to be introducing new workouts that bring Fitness+ users more options to stay active and motivated, plus immersive guided Meditation experiences that are approachable for all and easy to fit into your day.
"With new ways to work out together or alone — and coming to more countries later this year — we can’t wait to welcome even more people to experience Fitness+.”
While accessible from most Apple devices and hardware, Fitness+ is built entirely around Apple Watch.
The additions to Fitness+ was coupled with the launch of Apple Watch Series 7, featuring a re-engineered Always-On Retina display with significantly more screen area and thinner borders, making it the largest and most advanced display ever.
Series 7 is being marketed as the most durable Apple Watch ever, with a stronger, more crack-resistant front crystal.
It is the first Apple Watch to have an IP6X certification for resistance to dust, and maintains a WR50 water resistance rating.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said: "Apple Watch Series 7 delivers significant improvements — from our largest and most advanced display to enhanced durability and faster charging — making the world’s best smartwatch better than ever before."