Apple Fitness+ works without Apple Watch on iPhone and iPad

Want to work out with Apple? No Apple Watch required.

What you need to know

  • Apple Fitness+ does not require an Apple Watch.
  • A lack of Apple Watch only works with the iPhone and iPad, however.

While Apple Fitness+ is best enjoyed with an Apple Watch, it turns out that it is not necessarily required when trying to use the service on the iPhone and iPad.

When you start a workout with Fitness+ on iPhone and iPad, the device will look for your paired Apple Watch before beginning the workout. If it does not detect your watch, it will ask you to pair it. However, users will also get an option to start the workout with the Apple Watch.

Working out with the Apple Watch has its unique benefits, however. The integration of the Apple Watch with Apple Fitness+ is one of the cornerstones of the fitness service. Using your watch while working out displays your rings, heart rate, and other information to inform and motivate you during your workout.

Still, it is nice to see that those who do not yet have an Apple Watch or perhaps forgot it for a workout or two will still be able to use Apple Fitness+ without it. This does not, however, work with Apple TV. When starting a workout on the Apple TV, it asks you what Apple Watch is being used for the workout and it does not provide a way to start the workout without it.

It is currently unclear why Apple enabled the workaround on iPhone and iPad but not the Apple TV. Regardless, it is still nice to know that a workaround exists for the devices you’ll tend to have with you the most often.

Apple Fitness+ launched today with the latest updates to iOS, watchOS, iPadOS, and tvOS. Those who recently purchased an Apple Watch will receive three months of the service for free. For everyone else, it will cost $9.99 per month, $79.99 per year, or is included in the Apple One Premier bundle.

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