Apple Fitness+ works on iPhone and iPad without your Apple Watch

Fitness Plus No Apple Watch
Fitness Plus No Apple Watch (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple Fitness+ doesn't always 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.

Apple Fitness App On All Devices

Apple Fitness App On All Devices (Image credit: Apple)

Still, it is nice to see that those who perhaps forgot their Apple Watch for a workout or two will still be able to use Apple Fitness+ without it. There are some major caveats to this. however.

For one this is not the case 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. Also, this workaround will only work if you've previously connected an Apple Watch to your iPhone as the Fitness app won't even show up on your device in the first place without having done so.

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.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.