(Pocket-lint) – A new Apple Fitness + feature, Group Workouts, is now available with support for SharePlay, allowing you to participate in workouts with up to 32 friends via FaceTime. Here’s what you need to know, including how it works so you can easily start your own group workout calls.
What are group training and sharing?
When Apple rolled out iOS 15.1, it updated the FaceTime app to make it more competitive with Zoom and other video calling services. It added a new feature, called SharePlay, which essentially turns FaceTime into a monitoring service. So when you are on a FaceTime call, you can bring music for a shared listening experience, or you can watch movies and shows with friends in sync while having real-time conversations, or you can share your screen.
SharePlay is designed to work with many third-party apps, as well as Apple apps, such as Fitness. Apple’s own fitness app offers access to Fitness +, a collection of interactive Peloton-style fitness classes for a monthly subscription. And, now it includes group workouts, so Fitness + subscribers on an iPhone or iPad can take advantage of SharePlay to start a group workout or meditation with up to 32 friends on FaceTime. It’s really easy to do, actually.
How to use group workouts with SharePlay
Terms & Conditions
Your Apple device should be running the most recent software update available for its operating system. As of October 2021, these are iOS 15.1 for iPhone, iPadOS 15.1 for iPad, watchOS 8.1 for Apple Watch, and tvOS 15.1 for Apple TV. SharePlay and group workouts weren’t available until iOS 15.1.
Start a FaceTime call
To start a group workout with friends, you must first participate in a FaceTime call with them on an iPhone or iPad. If you want to add more people to your FaceTime call – whether it’s audio or video – swipe up, tap the Add Person button, and then tap the Ringtone button to call them.
You can have up to 32 people on a call. Go here to learn more about how to start a Group FaceTime call.
Open the Fitness app
Once you’re in a FaceTime call, go to the Fitness app, choose a Fitness + workout or meditation video to follow, and you’ll see your friends and family on the screen along with your own measurements displayed. Apple promises that the selected Fitness + session will be broadcast in a fully synchronized fashion for each participant. And when someone gets ahead (on the Burn Bar progress bar) or closes their ringtones during a session, all callers will receive an alert to celebrate together.
To note: SharePlay works system-wide on all Apple devices, including Apple TV. This means you can follow your workout on the big screen while staying connected with your friends via FaceTime on their iPhones and iPads.
Want to know more?
Check out these relevant guides and reviews for more information:
Written by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on .