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Apple Fitness+ tidbits: Apple Watch requirement details, sharing, UHC deal, more

Fitness+ is here and we’ve been digging into the new service and discovering more specifics. Follow along for a look at some interesting Apple Fitness Plus details like how the Apple Watch requirement works, screenshots being blocked, what sharing looks like, a deal with Unitedhealthcare and Life Time fitness clubs, and more.

Fitness+ sharing and no screenshots

After completing a Fitness+ workout, you have the option to share it with the native iOS share sheet which includes a link to the workout. As it happens, your workout performance is included when sharing a link to that specific Fitness+ workout on an Apple device in Messages. However, for those viewing on other devices or the web, it seems to just a web preview for the workout.

Like Apple TV+, taking screenshots of Fitness+ workouts is blocked (you’ll just see black screens) so you’ll have to resort to other options to grab footage of the sessions.

Apple Watch requirement

As Apple says, Fitness+ does require Apple Watch to initially activate the service but interesting enough, you can do the workouts on iPhone and iPad without Apple Watch. If the devices don’t detect your Apple Watch, you’ll get an option to “Work Out Without Watch” as shown below:

Apple Fitness Plus details Apple Watch requirement

Burn Bar

There’s no leaderboard for Apple Fitness+ but there is one leaderboard-esque/competitive component: the optional Burn Bar. Here’s how Apple describes it:

The Burn Bar shows your effort compared to others who’ve done the workout. If the Burn Bar is on, your data anonymously becomes part of it. This workout will not be sent.

You get to see your Burn Bar during workouts as well as at the end. After completing one of your first workouts, you’ll get the option to keep the Burn Bar on or turn it off.

Curious enough, for now, it looks like the same option won’t be available for Fitness+ on Apple TV, at least for the time being.

Video walkthrough

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Early iPad issues

On launch day, it appears lots of users are having trouble installing or using Fitness+ on iPad, read more about the issues here:

Partnerships with UnitedHealthcare and Life Time fitness clubs

Healthcare provider UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is the first insurance company to partner with Apple Fitness+ and will be giving 5 additional months of the service for free to its UHC Motion customers. That makes 8 months free when including the 3 months that Apple is giving users:

Starting January 1, 2021, UnitedHealthcare will offer five additional months of Fitness+ at no additional cost for UnitedHealthcare Motion enrollees with Apple Watch, to help empower eligible program participants on their path to a healthier lifestyle. Following the extended trial, UnitedHealthcare Motion enrollees may be able to apply program incentives to cover the Fitness+ monthly subscription cost. For more information, visit:

Best Buy customers are also getting an extended free trial up to 6 months.

Also, Life Time is the first fitness club in the US to include Apple Fitness+ with memberships.

As part of its overall membership offering, both digitally and at its athletic resorts nationwide, premier health and wellness brand Life Time will be the first health and fitness club company in the US to offer Apple Fitness+. For more information, please visit

Fitness+ and AirPlay

Spotted by MacRumors, it looks like AirPlay 2 support is not available for Fitness+. MacRumors forums member scar88 noticed AirPlaying didn’t work with an LG TV with AirPlay 2 support. MR found the same with a Samsung TV and we just noticed the same issue with a Samsung Smart TV. Audio can be played from an iOS device during a Fitness+ workout but not video.

Time will tell if this is just a bug or as Apple intended, hopefully it’s the former.

As we previously covered, you can do many of the Fitness+ workouts without any gear, but Apple has created a landing page for the gear it officially recommends:

Read more on Fitness+

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.