Apple Fitness+ and AirPlay: yes, it’s coming with some limitations

Apple Fitness+ any screen, anywhere, anytime fitness for all

One of the biggest user complaints when Apple Fitness+ initially released was its lack of AirPlay support. Folks could only watch their Fitness+ workouts on Apple devices, like iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Apple fitness+ devices

That meant seeing the workout videos on a larger screen wasn’t possible for users with iPhones and Apple Watches but not Apple TVs or iPads.

But no more!

With the latest betas of iOS and watchOS, Apple listened to its Fitness+ users and included a way to AirPlay your Fitness+ videos to a non-Apple device, like a large TV using AirPlay 2.

However, there are some limitations when Airplaying Apple Fitness+ to those non-Apple devices.

Specifically, your workout metrics like calories burned, heart-rate, Burn Bar, activity rings, and countdown timers DON’T show-up on any third-party screen, large or small. 

So when you AirPlay your Fitness+ class to a supported television, you need to check your Apple Watch to see those metrics. Apple Fitness+ vs others

However, you will get BOTH picture and sound when AirPlaying your Fitness+ classes to a supported device–so that’s good news!

And your television (or another device) must support AirPlay 2. You should see a label on these smart television that it Works with Apple AirPlay. * AirPlay 2-compatible smart TVs2 with the label "Works with Apple AirPlay"

Devices that supported the original AirPlay are not supported, at least no yet.

Check Apple’s list of Airplay 2 supported devices if you are unsure whether your current television supports this feature.

Does your TV not support AirPlay 2?

If your TV doesn’t support AirPlay 2, you can connect your iPad with a USB-C port to your TV with a USB C to HDMI cable. 

Unfortunately, this won’t work for iPhones, iPod Touch, or any iPad that has a lightning port, not a USB-C port. For whatever reason, you cannot watch Apple Fitness+ using a Lightning to HDMI cable.

Why can’t I Airplay Apple Fitness+ to my Airplay 2 television?

Right now, this feature is available only to users with access to betas of watchOS 7 and iOS 14.

If you want to try this feature, sign up for the public beta program (free) or an Apple Developer account (paid.) Just remember to update your iPhone AND your watch to the latest iOS and watchOS betas to check out the AirPlay option for Apple Fitness+.

Another cool beta feature is that you can now unlock your iPhone from your Apple watch, especially useful when you wear a face mask.

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch works if you unlock your Apple Watch and then use Face ID on your paired iPhone.

Your iPhone then works with only a partial facial scan, sends a haptic vibration, and a notification to your Apple Watch letting you that it unlocked your iPhone!

The process is similar to unlocking your Mac using your Apple Watch. And just like unlocking your Mac, both your watch and iPhone need to be close to each other for this feature to work!

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!


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