Apple Watch Support for Bike+ cut back due to GymKit implementation issues, says Peloton

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GymKit syncs Apple Watch and exercise equipment metrics during a workout, a system Peloton did not use correctly for Bike+ Bootcamp.

One of the key features of the Peloton Bike+ is the inclusion of GymKit. This is a system that allows Apple Watch owners to track their workouts on select gym equipment with a tap.

On Thursday, reports of users complaining about a change to GymKit surfaced. Users could no longer pair their Apple Watch when taking the Bike+ Bootcamp course.

At first, speculation pointed to competitive reasons since Peloton would soon introduce a wearable fitness tracker. Peloton didn't offer much reason for the feature removal other than it had to comply with Apple's policy.

On Friday, AppleInsider and other venues received a statement from Peloton clarifying the matter:

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+.

Apple says the Apple Watch isn't designed to track workouts that change focus mid-workout. During normal operation, if a user wants to shift from cardio to strength training, they have to manually change workouts within the Fitness app.

When users change workouts, one workout is ended, and another is started within the software. While the total workout time and calories burned are represented within the software, it doesn't treat the different categories as the same workout.

Apple Watch users can still use GymKit with their Bike+ when performing standard cycling classes. Peloton has stated that it wants to include Apple Watch in more workouts in the future.

Apple has a video workout program similar to Peloton's called Apple Fitness+. It integrates the Apple Watch using on-screen metrics. Notably, the workouts are all single-purpose as well and do not shift types mid-video.

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