Apple’s New Fitness App on iOS 14 more insightful and elegant than the old Activity App

Fitness app in iOS 14 vs Activity app in iOS 13

With iOS 14 and watchOS 7, Apple replaced its legacy Activity app with the new Fitness app. The old app has been around since 2015 when Apple introduced the original Apple Watch.

So it’s definitely time to dust off and provide a new app that is more intuitive and more aligned with the times!

Related reading:

The basic idea around the Activity app was to keep track of all your movements throughout the day and encourage you to meet your fitness goal. It did this by providing you a trifecta of metrics around stand time, move time, and exercise time.

In this post, we take a preliminary look around the new Fitness app that Apple has introduced with iOS 14 and watchOS 7.

Fitness app in iOS 14 vs Activity app in iOS 13

Fitness app on iOS 14.3 introduces Apple Fitness+

12/14/2020 – With the release of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3, Apple has now included the Fitness+ subscription service directly into the new Fitness app.

The new Fitness+ functionality automatically shows up when you update your iPhone to 14.3 in the center tab of the Fitness app.

Apple Fitness app confirming you aren't online and showing downloaded Apple Fitness+ classes only

The new fitness+ service allows users to download studio-quality fitness classes into their devices and select a workout of their choice.

You can read about all the details around Apple’s new Fitness+ offering via the following detailed guides:

This new introduction of a workout subscription by Apple has been highly rated and is cheaper than Peloton digital subscription. You can use Fitness+ with your Apple Watch although some of the workouts can be done without sporting your Apple Watch. When you do that, you will not be able to track any workout metrics except for time related metrics associated with your workout.

Activity App vs Fitness App on iOS 14, The Basics

The colored rings became the central dashboard to quickly show you your progress.

The New Fitness App carries forward the same logic and functionality around monitoring and showing you your daily progress.

Given a date (day), it shows you your Move, Exercise, and Stand related achievements. It also shows you how many steps you walked and the distance that you covered, much like the old Activity app.

Simplifying has always been a design moto for Apple engineers. This is very much evident in the new Fitness app tabs. You will not find the five different tabs anymore at the bottom of the screen. 

Fitness App main screen in iOS 14

Instead, Apple divided the main Fitness app’s home screen into three distinct sections:

    1. Activity
    2. Trends
    3. Awards

Simplified Tabs on the New Fitness App in iOS 14

The old Activity app tabs such as History, Trends, Workouts, Awards, and Sharing have been now replaced with two key tabs in the new Fitness App. These tabs include a new ‘Summary’ tab and a ‘Sharing’ tab.

Awards and Trends now integrate directly into the Fitness app’s main screen.

Trends and Activity summaries

Trends show you a nice animation when you first start the fitness app. Tap on ‘Learn More’ and it provides you with an overview of Activity Trends. Once you tap there, it brings up the entire Trends dashboard and integrates it into the main Fitness app home screen. 

This makes it easier to visualize your daily progress along with the Trends on the same screen. Not only do you see the three main activity metrics under trends, but you are also able to see the distance, stand minutes, walking pace, running pace, and VO2 max metrics.

Trends in iOS 14 Fitness app

Tap on any one of these metrics under ‘Trends’ and it opens up the history screen and shows you your progress for the entire month. 

The ‘Sharing’ tab stays consistently at the bottom of all the screens so that you can invite your friends and share progress notifications et al.

Awards features

Along the similar design theme, Awards features have also been integrated into the main fitness app screen and you no longer have a separate ‘Awards’ tab.

A new calendar ‘icon’ has been integrated at the top of the Activity section’s main screen. Tap on it to open up the calendar view and you can choose a particular date and see your activity metrics for that date.

You can still set up all your ‘Activity’ related settings such as daily coaching, notification access for goal completion, turn on or off stand reminders, etc via the Activity settings inside the Watch app on your iPhone. 

Where are my workouts in the new Fitness App in iOS 14?

In the old Activity app, you tapped on the ‘Workouts’ at the bottom and were taken to a detailed screen, that showed you by Month and date all the workouts that you completed along with the relevant metrics. 

When you tap on any of the entries, it provided you all the necessary details around your exercise. This included not only the relevant basics such as total time, distance, and active calories but also the elevation, average pace, average heart rate and Splits related information.

No, the ‘Workouts’ section has not been completely removed from the new Fitness app in iOS 14. 

Instead, iOS makes it available to you via a contextual menu from the App icon.

  1. Tap an hold on the new Fitness app
  2. It will open up six different action items
  3. Tap on the Workouts menu item Where are workouts in the new Fitness app
  4. It will open up your detailed workout summary 

Wrap up

In Summary, Apple has not added a whole lot of new bells and whistles in the new Fitness app that is replacing the old Activity app in iOS 14 but has made the design more simple and elegant allowing you to focus on metrics that matter to you and provide you access to actions such as ‘Sharing’ consistently across each of the screens.

The new Fitness app is currently a part of the iOS 14 beta released in June, 2020 and should be available to public beta testers starting next month. Apple eventually releases it to the public in the fall of 2020.

What are some of the other health and fitness-related features that you are really excited about with the new iOS 14 and watchOS 7? Please share using the comments.


  1. There used to be a calendar where I could see all the days my completed my circles. I am not a fan of this app. Also, everything is different than my ifit #’s, ie: calories, distance etc.

  2. The app tries to be more simple a d elegant, but at the expense of usability.

    I can’t compare monthly stats at a glance, it’s a pain to navigate back and forth all the time.

    Take fitness+ out of the app and make a whole new app for that.

  3. The old version could easily compare the monthly totals of workouts in the workout details. Is there no way to do that now without scrolling through all workouts?

    • I agree with Tony. The scrolling to see monthly summaries is annoying and seems like a big oversight. Overall, the app has minimal value and I end up pulling out the summary data and putting it in excel.

    • HI James,

      Cycling ride maps are supported in IOS 14 and WatchOS 7 via a limited first release for certain locations, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay, Shanghai, and Beijing. More locations added throughout the year–check this apple document for the current list.

      If your location is supported,

        Open Apple Maps, enter your destination, and tap the bicycle icon to change the route type to cycling
        If cycling directions are available for your location, you see an overview for the ride including elevation, distance, and a travel time estimate
        Swipe up for additional toggles to avoid hills or roads
        Tap the graph or travel time estimate to see your route’s details
        Choose “GO” to start the guidance

      We are really disappointed that this feature isn’t rolled out to more places at launch. Hopefully, Apple adds a lot of locations quickly!

  4. The new navigation is terrible.

    Before I could get between screens via the menu at the bottom.

    Now I have to press back to get back to the first screen – and the back is in the rope right of the screen.

    The opposite of where my thumb is!

    Whoever designed and tested this must have very long fingers.

  5. The new Fitness app with iOS 14 mostly sucks.

    For starters, it no longer gives an estimate of needed daily activity to meet the monthly challenge.

    Just total needed and total already achieved.

    It used to give both of those as well as something like “528 activity minutes per day for the rest of the month.” It was a good indicator of where you stood in relation to the remainder of the month. Apple–please bring that feature — shouldn’t be too difficult!!!

    Also, I don’t really care about having all the detail in the “Trends” front and center whenever I open the app.

    These things are interesting but not something I care to access multiple times during the day (as I do to view Move, Exercise, and Stand.

    This update makes it WAY more complicated than it needs to be. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!

    • Great point about the Trends feature on the main screen. It’s not needed on the main screen. I also notice the app is slow to pull up the workout data.


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