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If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Apple Fitness+ to help you take off and keep off those extra turkey day pounds, the good news is that it appears the launch of Apple’s newest health service is imminent as the company begins showing it off in earnest.
Not only have developers already found code in iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2, which are currently available in beta, but Apple’s upcoming watchOS update even specifically calls out Apple Fitness+ in a rare “What’s New” screen for the wearable device.
This makes it pretty clear that the new service is going to arrive simultaneous with the launch of iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2, but it’s still up in the air as to when we may actually see these arrive; while both are only in their second betas right now, it’s difficult to discern the arrival dates for point releases based solely on the number of betas, as those tend to vary widely depending on how much is in each release, and therefore how much testing is needed.
Now, however, it looks like Apple is upping the bar to get ready for the actual debut of its new Fitness+ service, including new advertising initiatives, marketing promotions, and even teasers from its slate of fitness instructors that will be headlining the service.
As we noted during last week’s Black Friday deals, Apple has already partnered with Best Buy to offer up to six months of Apple Fitness+ with the purchase of a new Apple Watch, and even the older Apple Watch Series 5 — which you can still pick up for up to $250 off at Best Buy — qualifies for the promotion.
Further, Best Buy has been promoting the new offer via sponsored links on various social media services, while Apple Fitness+ instructors have clearly been given the green light by Apple to begin promoting their workout videos on Instagram. A raft of new posts spotted by 9to5Mac, all shared within the past week, clearly suggest a new Apple-backed social media push for the service, with all of them using the #CloseYourRings hashtag and pointing to the @AppleFitnessPlus Instagram account.
While none of the posts are offering up a specific launch date yet, it’s clear that they’re all ramping up for the launch, with over 20 of them having now shared their own unique promotions for the service.
Apple has said from the beginning that Apple Fitness+ will launch in “late 2020,” and since the year is running out it’s not a big surprise that we should be seeing the service arrive soon, but the sudden promotional surge suggests that it’s actually right around the corner.
Apple Fitness+ will feature guided video workouts from professional instructors shown on an Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad, and synced directly with the metrics from your Apple Watch. Multiple workout categories will be available at different challenge levels so there will be something for everybody here, from yoga, dance, and core workouts to cycling, rowing, and treadmill routines.
New workouts will also be released weekly in each category, and tight integration with Apple Music will offer up “thoughtfully curated” playlists to accompany each workout.
Apple is offering three months of Apple Fitness+ with the purchase of any new Apple Watch, although the previously-mentioned Best Buy promotion effectively doubles that.
If you’ve already jumped on the Apple One Premier bundle, then Apple Fitness+ is included, so when Apple does roll it out you should be able to access it immediately. For everyone else it will cost $9.99/month or $79.99/year, although current Apple Watch owners will get the typical one-month free trial period, and you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later to use the service anyway.