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!
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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 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.
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:
- How to download Apple Fitness+ classes and play them offline
- Get fit with Apple Fitness+: a comprehensive guide
- The Burn Bar takes your workout to the next level in Apple Fitness+
- Get to know the 21 Apple Fitness+ trainers who get your fitness goals back on track in 2021
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.
Instead, Apple divided the main Fitness app’s home screen into three distinct sections:
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.
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.
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.
- Tap an hold on the new Fitness app
- It will open up six different action items
- Tap on the Workouts menu item
- It will open up your detailed workout summary
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.
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