With iOS 16.1, iPhone owners can use Apple Fitness+ without an Apple Watch

Apple removes Apple Watch barrier to Fitness+ subscriptions.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple has said that with its big iOS 16.1 update it's making the Apple Fitness+ service available to all iPhone users – even if they don't have an Apple Watch

Apple Fitness+ subscriptions feature over 3,000 workouts and meditations at a cost of $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. The subscription is available in 21 countries. 

Launched in late 2020, Fitness+ has become another key part of Apple's roughly $19 billion services business, which includes Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and Apple Music. A JP Morgan analyst reckons Fitness+ could generate $3.6 billion in revenue by 2025, up from $300 million in 2021.

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Apple is offering three free months of Fitness+ for customers buying a new iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Also, there will be special offers available through SilverSneakers, Target, UnitedHealthcare, and Mobile Health. 

From Monday, iPhone owners can subscribe to Fitness+. In iOS 16.1, Fitness+ is integrated with the Fitness app via a middle tab. Also, users without an Apple TV can stream content via AirPlay to compatible third-party devices as well as all AirPlay-enabled Roku devices. 

To sweeten the offer, Apple is bringing music by Taylor Swift to Fitness+ as part of an Artist Spotlight series featuring Swift's newly released "Midnights" album.     

iOs 16.1 will also allows users to control Matter-compatible smart home accessories in the Home app. Matter is supported by Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. Via MacRumors, this update also brings Stage Manager multitasking to older iPad Pros as well as Clean Energy Charging for US-based iPhone owners. 

The update will also let users share car, hotel room, and other keys in Apple Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages and WhatsApp. 

The Fitness+ special offers include SilverSneakers' offer of a free subscription from January 2023 through select Medicare Advantage plans. Target will offer a four-month free trial of Fitness+ for members of its loyalty program. 

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