Thursday, April 15, 2021

Peloton Cuts Back on Apple Watch Support

Colin Jenkins (via Hacker News, MacRumors):

One of the selling points of upgrading to the newer, upgraded, and more expensive Peloton Bike+ was the inclusion of the Apple Gym Kit, an Apple platform that makes it very easy to pair the bike with your Apple Watch to see your heart rate and have your workouts directly imported into Apple Fitness and Apple Health.

In fact, when I bought my own Peloton Bike+, I also decided to buy an Apple Watch specifically because of the inclusion of Apple GymKit.

With one of Peloton’s latest updates, they have disabled the direct pairing of the Apple Watch to the Bike+ Bootcamp Classes (in addition to it being already disabled for Strength and Yoga Classes).

Ashley Carman:

A Peloton spokesperson confirmed to The Verge today that GymKit no longer works with Bike Bootcamp classes and instead will “only be available in cycling classes for now.” The spokesperson also said: “Peloton is committed to bringing the GymKit integration to all workouts and disciplines within Apple’s terms of service,” seemingly suggesting bootcamp workouts didn’t fall under those terms.

The speculation that Peloton removed Apple Watch support because they plan to sell their own finess watch doesn’t make much sense. You’d think they wouldn’t want to jeopardize customers continuing to pay the monthly subscription for their bike. Did Apple crack down on them? Why?

Joe Rossignol:

Apple today announced it is introducing new Fitness+ workouts geared specifically toward pregnancy and older adults, as well as several new Yoga, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Strength workouts for beginners.

It’s interesting that Apple’s subscription product does support strength and yoga workouts.

Meanwhile, Peloton can just switch to one of the alternative channels.


Update (2021-04-16): Nilay Patel:

Since Apple’s terms of service for GymKit are not public, it was not clear what terms Peloton had violated, and, in general, “using your expensive smartwatch to sync your heart rate to your expensive stationary bike” is not the sort of thing that should require contract negotiations between huge companies.


Anyhow, irritating the huge group of wealthy people who own both an Apple Watch and a Peloton Bike Plus is a bad idea, so Peloton has a new statement today clarifying what’s going on. Here it is:

Apple GymKit is designed to work with equipment-based cardio workouts. However, Peloton recently implemented GymKit with Bike Bootcamp, a multi-disciplinary class type that combines strength and cardio, which the feature does not support. Members can still use GymKit to sync their cycling-only workouts to their Apple Watch from the Bike+.

So basically, the Apple Watch does not support switching from biking to lifting weights all in one workout. Fair enough. That said, if people want to use their Apple Watch in goofy off-label ways, it’s weird that Apple is stopping them in this way, no? And certainly adding a “bike bootcamp” workout mode to the Apple Watch fitness app would be relatively easy for Apple, the company that makes the Apple Watch.

Comments RSS · Twitter

Leave a Comment