Apple TV isn’t the least expensive streaming platform. But it’s the best. This is before you take a single dose of Cupertino Cool Aid. The hardware remains as powerful as anything else out there. What’s more, the hardware allows years and years of software support.
You could say that Apple TV is actually overkill when it comes to video-only streaming. And you’re right. After all, all competing platforms have options for around $50 (or less!) that basically do the same thing. They’ll show you shows in 4K with the usual bells and whistles. Video streaming is no longer that difficult. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.
But as long as we’re spending a good chunk of money — which is often enough is something that the people in the Apple ecosystem are willing to do, if not quite keen on pointing out the virtue because of the cost — let’s do it all. If you also have an Apple Watch, you can get more use out of your Apple TV.
You just need to be prepared to sweat a little. And spend more money.
In addition to being able to use any and all of the available streaming apps, Apple TV is also home to all sorts of other Apple stuff. And over the past year or so, my wife and I have started taking advantage of Apple Fitness+, which launched at the end of 2020. The $10 per month subscription covers access to nearly a dozen fitness classes. The more you explore — and the more you exercise — the more you can make $10 a month. (Better, if you pay annually, it costs just $80 a year.) And because that fee covers anyone in your Apple Family Sharing plan, it can go much further.
In other words, this is not a bad deal at all, as long as someone is using it.
There is a lot to choose from. Categories include:
- High intensity interval training
- walking device
- vigilant deceleration
None of this is a substitute for going to the gym. I still do it four or five times a week before sunrise. (If that’s a bragging, so be it. Or if it’s not impressive at all, you’re right too.) It’s different than being in a group fitness class, with a coach who can scream in your face when you need a little more encouragement (or if they They know you like yelling at you because it’s fun.) But it’s a great way to increase what you’re already doing, or if you’re just looking to move forward. You won’t kick your ass. But it will make her move more.
Apple Fitness + is an app on Apple TV. It’s preloaded, which is great if you’re an Apple and a bloatware if you’re not. But it’s not like it’s really getting in the way or anything. Once you set up your subscription, it’s easy to start working out.
Apple Watch Association
I’ve been wearing smartwatches ever since, well, forever. I had a pebble day. I was there when Google launched the first Android watches. And while I’m not a big fan of using other devices when I’m watching TV — that “second screen” thing is a distraction, not the good kind — it’s kind of surprising how well the Apple Watch works with Apple TV and Apple Fitness+. Or maybe it would be great if anyone other than Apple did it.
Open the Fitness app on your Apple TV and it will ask you to connect to your watch. (And yes, if there are several hours in the house at that time, you can pick the right one.) As you work out alongside the on-screen trainers, you’ll see real-time stats coming from (or reflected on) your watch. This includes things like your heart rate and calories burned, as well as how long you’ve been exercising.
In typical Apple fashion, it’s smart and simple – and it just works. There was never a disconnection or sync rejection in the first place.
Note that an Apple Watch is required for Apple Fitness +. (Reference to it without the article “the” is optional.) That’s an additional cost, sure — and it’s actually more expensive than the Apple TV alone. (And you don’t actually need an Apple TV for Apple Fitness+ – it works fine on your iPhone or iPad too.) But it’s a really cool link and extends the whole experience.
It depends on what appears on the screen
The clock is, really, secondary. Apple Fitness + is all on display. If this is an iPhone or iPad, that’s fine. But showing things off on TV – the bigger the better, of course – really starts to give you more of a traditional fitness class vibe.
No, it’s different than sweating in a room with a dozen of your closest friends. You can’t yell at the coach. (Okay, you can, but they’re cool and they can’t hear you anyway.) You might be a little upset by the impeccable Nike clothes and shoes that were clearly unused before that day’s recording.
But there is new content across all categories every week. And the more you discover, the more you can benefit from Apple Fitness+ and Apple TV.