What is Apple Watch Connected and why is it at your gym?
Apple Watch Connected is an Apple program in which some of the biggest names in U.S. gyms are launching watchOS-compatible experiences in their keep fit locations, reports claim.
What is Apple Watch Connected?
Basecamp, Crunch Fitness, Orange Theory and YMCA are all offering these Apple Watch Connected experiences at gyms across the U.S.
The scheme marshals the prevalence of Apple’s tech with a whole bunch of benefits, such as discounts on gym membership for meeting activity targets (worth up to $4/m at Crunch Fitness), Apple Pay support in the gym and integration between iOS/watch and things like class sign-ups.
What do the gyms provide?
To be part of the scheme gyms must provide iPhone and Apple Watch apps that let users access their facilities. It is also mandatory that the locations let gym users “earn” with the watch, hence the discounted monthly membership mentioned above.
The way that works differs. Basecamp Fitness, for example, will give you an Apple Watch Series 5GPS device that you can earn back over a year, but only by taking part in three classes each week. Apple Pay support is also mandatory.
GymKit isn’t mandatory (yet)
One thing that isn’t mandatory is support for GymKit, Apple’s software that lets exercise equipment integrate with sensors on your Apple Watch. This lack likely reflects the fact that this kit is expensive and many gyms haven’t hit their equipment refresh cycle in the time since GymKit was announced – though there are thought to be up to 100,000 GymKit-compatible machines available now.
This news comes as a couple of reports this week reinforced Apple’s focus on Apple Watch in health.