You no longer need an Apple Watch to use Apple Fitness Plus — here’s what you need to know

a photo of the Apple Fitness Plus workout on the iPhone
(Image credit: Apple)

At the Apple event, the Cupertino company announced that you’ll no longer need to buy an Apple Watch to use its workout app, Apple Fitness Plus. This is the first time users will be able to use the platform without owning one of Apple’s smartwatches, making the app more accessible to the masses. 

Apple announced that "later this fall," Fitness Plus will be available for all iPhone users. The app will sit with the Fitness app coming with iOS 16, and users will get access to over 3000 pre-recorded workouts. Fitness Plus users without an Apple Watch will still see onscreen trainer guidance and interval timing, but estimated calories burned will be used to allow them to make progress on their Move ring. 

“Since launching just under two years ago, we have heard incredible feedback from users on what a difference Fitness+ is making in their lives. We are thrilled to bring the award-winning service to even more people by making Fitness+ available to all iPhone users later this fall, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch,” said Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies. “We can’t wait for more people around the world to stay motivated toward their fitness and wellness goals, and live a healthier day.”

Apple also announced that from September 12, Fitness Plus will introduce new seasons of Time to Walk and Time to Run featuring music from Mary J. Blige, The Rolling Stones, and The Weeknd. There will also be a new yoga teacher joining the platform, Dice Iida-Klein, who will replace Dustin Brown, following his departure earlier this week. 

Furthermore, there'll be a new workout collection coming to the platform named Pilates for More Than Your Core — a curation of 20- and 30-minute Pilates workouts designed to strengthen the entire body using just a resistance band. 

a photo of the Pilates collection on Apple Fitness Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Fitness Plus costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, and one subscription can be shared with up to five other family members, making the new change an affordable way to get the whole family moving for free. 

If we learned anything from lockdown, it’s that you don’t need an expensive gym membership or equipment to add movement to your day — a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, a couple of the best resistance bands, and a decent workout app can get your heart rate up from the comfort of your living room. 

(If you do want to buy an Apple Watch, here's the latest on the new Apple Watch 8, the Apple Watch SE 2, and the Apple Watch Ultra.)

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.