We’ve tested Apple Fitness +, the gym 2.0 we can’t wait to see the ground in France

ad in September And it set off Last December In English-speaking countries (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand), Apple Fitness + is not yet available in France. But we couldn’t resist the urge to try the latest Made in Cupertino service, especially during these times of confinement and restrictions.

As a warm-up, remember that Apple Fitness + is a kind of virtual gym. For $ 9.99 a month (or $ 29.99 a month with an Apple One Premier subscription), this service offers several sports classes from different classes (HIIT, Bodybuilding, Fitness, Dance, Yoga, Meditation, etc.).
There are also sessions that require professional equipment (rowing, court mat, indoor bike), which will be helpful when re-opening real rooms. The idea of ​​Apple is very simple, put on your iPhone, put on headphones and listen to the instructions, all with the Apple Watch on your wrist.

For a month, we tried Apple Fitness + at a rate of 1 session per day (although we must admit we didn’t always keep that promise). Here is our review of this service in substance and format, in both written and video format.

Excellent teachers and good use of the watch

Available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (not the Mac, which is what we’re finding terrible), Apple Fitness + can only work if you have an Apple Watch. Otherwise, the “Shape” app will not appear on your device and you will not be able to subscribe.
If you’re the owner of a connected California clock but forgot about it at home, you can skip today’s session. Fitness + only works if the watch is on your wrist. It’s a shame, but we’ll talk about that later.

As for the Apple Fitness + interface, it is very easy to understand. At the top there are shortcuts for all the categories that the platform provides.
The rest of the app is a mix between recent courses (Apple is adding more every week), the most popular ones, the programs (there are still very few, and Apple hasn’t covered that part yet) and the list of all the tutors, in order to choose your coach directly (a special reference to Bakary and Jimmy Ray, our favorites).
In each category, you can also refine the scores by choosing the teacher, duration and type of music you want. In fact, even without an Apple Music subscription, Apple Fitness + offers you playlists from the streaming platform. The teachers dance and evolve on it, making the course more lively (you can if you want to listen to your own music).

As is often the case in this type of program, Dr.In each class, there are three teachers. The person in the middle speaks and leads the dance, the one on the left makes the moves suitable for beginners and the one on the right makes the most effort, for those who want to outdo themselves. This approach, taken from courses like the one at LesMills, allows you not to choose a level of difficulty before the session begins, and to be able to change along the way. It’s an excellent idea to Encourage them not to give up and come back regularly. Everyone adapts their efforts according to the shape of the day.

In the upper left part of the screen appears information from the Apple Watch (heart rate, number of calories consumed, compared to other people who did this exercise).
At the top right is the watch activity circuit and sometimes contextual information. When you change songs or the teacher asks you to check your heart rate, everything appears in the top right. Here too, we are fans. Apple Fitness + makes the classroom interactive while using real videos. It’s much nicer than the simple YouTube tutorial you can find.
In contrast, Apple didn’t think you would want to shine with its friends or beyond The On social networks, it is impossible to take a screenshot or record a screen to send to a friend, Apple protects everything with DRM …

Overall, we have always enjoyed the courses the platform offers a lot. The teachers are all excellent, they give the impression that they are really talking to their students while they are in the studio and the exercises provided are pretty intense.
All lessons end with the phrase Don’t forget to close your episodes., Just to remind us that Apple Fitness + is above all a promotional product for the Apple Watch.

Basically, Fitness + only has two drawbacks in our opinion. The search by filters is very limited, for example it is impossible to order a lesson without an attachment (when the teacher says after 10 minutes to go get dumbbells, you feel a little stupid), and there is no record.
We happen to launch a course we actually did, without realizing it.
We also like Apple to launch sustainable programs, say 30 days, with one or two workouts per day, so that we don’t have to start a random class every day. Other than that the service is really excellent.

Apple has shut down the Fitness + app often

However, in the figure, we are much more divided. If the picture quality is excellent (all lessons were shot in 4K HDR, this is the first time we’ve been marveling at the gym’s colors), Apple is making the mistake of using Fitness + too much.

In fact, as we told you earlier, it’s impossible to start a course without an Apple Watch. This is very unfortunate, especially since in order to be recognized, the watch you are using must be logged into the same iCloud account as the device you are using, while also being signed into the same iTunes account (but this may not be the same) …
It’s also impossible to take courses with multiple people, as Apple Fitness + limits its use to a single athlete. Another user can follow the session, of course, but their Apple Watch is of no use. Too bad.

When it comes to hardware compatibility, the explicit restrictions on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV don’t matter to us, especially since not every device works the same way:

  • On iPhone, the app Form Automatically appears if a watch has been paired. On the other hand, if you have another iPhone in your family, it is impossible to install the app on it without another watch connected to it, even if the family is sharing.
  • On iPad, you have to download Form From the App Store … but the app only appears if your Apple Watch is connected to your iCloud account. Otherwise, the App Store will inform you that your iPad is not compatible.
  • On Apple TV, the app appears automatically on the home screen but it is impossible to start a session if your iPhone is not connected to the correct account. Apple TV will tell you to subscribe, even if you already have it.

This big nonsense often made us want to abandon our session. We also liked the Mac app and web version to be available to watch a course on the computer instead of the iPhone’s tiny screen.

Ultimately, the easiest way to use Apple Fitness + on your TV is to start a class on your iPhone / iPad and use AirPlay to send it to your big screen.
On Apple TV, you will get all indications from Apple Watch. On a connected TV (Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.), you will only have video (hence no heart rate).
Apple should really review how they do things, and why not make Apple Fitness + accessible to everyone who wants it, with or without Apple Watch. When you pay for a service, why make it so complicated?

Apple Fitness +, someday in France?

Today, the Apple Fitness + app only speaks English. Undoubtedly, this is why the service is not available in France even if, thanks to our Canadian friends, all courses already contain French translation.
We don’t really imagine Apple ruling out the spontaneity of coaches by hiring VF voice actors, which makes us believe Fitness + won’t be landing anytime soon or later he will be satisfied with the translation. Unless Apple is going to hire tutors in French theaters?

We can’t wait to see Fitness + Land in France. At € 9.99 a month or integrated into the Apple One package (€ 30 with iCloud, Music, Arcade, TV + and other service?), Apple Sports Service 2.0 really has something for many people to like.
We loved the service for what it has to offer, although we hate how much it works. But by expanding Fitness +, Apple will likely keep a bestseller in the future.

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