Connectivity issues continue to plague Apple Fitness+ workouts

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple Fitness+ is an outstanding workout service that has incredible value for its users, but the constant disconnections between Apple Watch and Apple TV are ruining the experience.

Picking a workout on Apple Fitness+
Picking out a workout on Apple Fitness+


My wife and I were excited for Apple Fitness+ to launch. We had both tried a number of different fitness platforms in the past, from walkthrough apps, to Jillian Michaels, to just going it on our own, but none of them really stuck with us.

Apple Fitness+ looked to be different. It was easy to access on all of our devices, regardless of where we were. It was bundled in with all of our other subscriptions in Apple One. Even the trainers seemed genuinely fun.

Perhaps most enticing of all was the unique ability to see our Apple Watch rings and heart rate on the TV while we worked out. No other service could offer that.

Closing our Apple Watch rings has been a habit for both of us for quite some time. My wife's racked up well over a thousand Move goals in a row, and I'm not far behind her.

It's no surprise that we were quick to sign up and try out Apple Fitness+ at launch, sampling an ever-expanding list of classes. We were very quickly hooked by the fantastic music and the outstanding instructors. To us, it offered the best workout classes we've tried.

But then, we started having issues. Or rather, one issue multiple times.

Not just us

During a workout, the Apple TV would lose connection with my Apple Watch without warning. When it disconnects, Apple Fitness+ doesn't allow you to finish the workout or reconnect your watch. Instead, it just errors and ends unceremoniously.

This fires off a notification to all friends and family you share your activity rings progress with, letting them know you've finished part of a workout.

Then, when you go to try to go back to the workout you were just kicked from, Apple Fitness+ doesn't allow you to pick up from where you left off, or even to fast forward to the right place. It makes you start back at the beginning of the workout.

This isn't too much of a problem if you're going through a brief 10-minute session. If you're doing a 30 or 45-minute workout, this can be infuriating and demoralizing.

A quick polling of Twitter to see if anyone else was experiencing a similar issue quickly revealed others had the same problem.

This is not ok #AppleFitnessPlus. Users aren't going to stick around if this continues happening and offers no way to reconnect the watch, finish, or fast forward workouts. I've heard so many others complain of this issue. It's not uncommon. pic.twitter.com/fKpyLgJa3O

-- Andrew O'Hara (@Andrew_OSU)


A quick search uncovered more who voiced their own dissatisfaction and frustration over the situation. Hundreds of people have also joined in voicing their experience with the same issue over on Apple's discussion forums.

Some potential solutions were suggested, ranging from the obvious restarting of the Apple TV itself, to moving the Apple TV to a new location and checking for any possible interference from other devices. My wife and I tried all of them without a solution.

Eventually, as the issue happened more and more, a pattern started to emerge.

It seemed to happen most frequently on the first workout of the day. Subsequent classes didn't experience the issues.

Working out with Ben on Apple Fitness+
Working out with Ben on Apple Fitness+


While this pattern does seem common among people experiencing the same issue, it doesn't help in any way to solve the problem.

A wait for a fix

Apple desperately needs to fix this issue before people are turned away from the service. Admittedly it isn't necessarily an easy fix, as it involves two different pieces of hardware and software working together, increasing the complexity.

However, Apple Watch already has the ability to pause workouts set from the wearable device. It would make sense that if a disconnection should occur, the workout could be paused on the TV and the Apple Watch at the same time.

Such a change could even give an opportunity to reconnect the Apple Watch to the Apple TV and to continue, before ending the workout entirely.

Months after launch, there doesn't appear to be a fix on the way.

Apple Fitness+ has continued to gain a following and has a mountain of potential to grow and expand. Despite this issue, we've still continued to use Apple Fitness+, but if a fix doesn't come soon, that may not always be the case.

We probably won't be the only ones to move on.
dewme

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    I’ve had a similar problem lately. I just get to the point where the loading wheel spins forever or until it quits. I do agree it is frustrating, but I’ve found that restarting your Apple TV, or unplugging it for a few seconds and plugging it back in seem to help the problem. The reset takes some time but it works for me. I do hope Apple comes up with a fix though. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,111member
    I use it on the iPad and never had an issue, maybe as a workaround use screen mirroring until a fix is ready?
    jwdawsoGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 891member
    Maybe I missed it in the article, but is this a paid service?
  • Reply 4 of 17
    quazzequazze Posts: 27member
    We have this problem too. However, to avoid it, simply use your iPhone and “Airplay” your workout to the TV. You will not receive any more errors this way, at least we have an experienced it.
    jwdawsowatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I use it on the iPad and never had an issue, maybe as a workaround use screen mirroring until a fix is ready?
    Didnt saw this issues since ive been using ipad since....more Yoga
  • Reply 6 of 17
    I had a problem simply connecting to either of my two Apple TV devices. I contacted Apple and they suggested I un/repair my Apple Watch with my iPhone. Since doing that, I've had no issues.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    I use it on the iPad and never had an issue, maybe as a workaround use screen mirroring until a fix is ready?

    I use my iPad Mini, mirror to AppleTV too, and haven’t had any problem. But, Apple should fix the connectivity issue to keep with their, “It just works” alive and well.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Somewhat a pattern you experience over the whole Apple ecosystem: as good as Apple is regarding the hardware design (and I really enjoy their products), they sort of suck when it comes to all related to wireless connectivity. Whether it is simple WLAN stability or more complex Home reliability, the issues are relatively constant. When you have the feeling they have fixed it with the last update, count that another fix or the next larger version brings back the issues. I just made another altogether different experience with Sonos: setting up an Arc with subwoofer and satellites worked seamless and since months the system runs without any flaws. Seems Apple is not taking it seriously, with the consequence that services like Fitness+ may not lift off due to such bad experience. How does the old saying go: either do it right, or not at all... 
    edited March 15 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,896member
    Wow, have not experience this problem, really on had problems once starting the workout on the ATV it took time for the watch to respond. After the first week have not had that issue. It’s been flawless. 

    I’m using an ATV HD gen 3 and it’s only few feet from where we work out.

     The only complaint we have is does not let two people work out together on the ATV and get credit for workout. One us start the workout on the ATV and the other starts it on their phone and puts the phone on silent.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 439member, editor
    maestro64 said:
    Wow, have not experience this problem, really on had problems once starting the workout on the ATV it took time for the watch to respond. After the first week have not had that issue. It’s been flawless. 

    I’m using an ATV HD gen 3 and it’s only few feet from where we work out.

     The only complaint we have is does not let two people work out together on the ATV and get credit for workout. One us start the workout on the ATV and the other starts it on their phone and puts the phone on silent.
    I wish dual workouts were a thing as well. that would be a nice upgrade!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 439member, editor

    quazze said:
    We have this problem too. However, to avoid it, simply use your iPhone and “Airplay” your workout to the TV. You will not receive any more errors this way, at least we have an experienced it.
    Yeah, but this isn't really the same and a workaround more than a fix. Not all people will do that either which makes it still a big issue for Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,013member
    I have not had any problems between my watch and Apple TV with Apple Fitness+.   It has worked well every time.

    The only problem I have seen is using it with my iPhone Xr while on the treadmill.   My Series 4 Apple Watch stops monitoring heart rate and I get just a flat line.   The only solution I've found is to remove the watch and then resume the workout when I put it back on.   But that's pretty intrusive.  Admittedly, it might be dropping heart rate while I'm using the TV.   But, since I only do core and strength workouts that way I am not looking at heart rate.

    I of course do not know why it is doing dropping heart rate.  But my theory is that the Series 4 does not have the processing power to do all of that Apple Fitness+ demands of it.   (If nothing else, it gives me a good excuse for getting a Series 7 in September!)
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 439member, editor
    hexclock said:
    Maybe I missed it in the article, but is this a paid service?
    Apple Fitness+ is a paid service that runs you $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year. It can also be included with your Apple One bundle for no additional cost if you are on the top tier.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,671member
    maestro64 said:
    Wow, have not experience this problem, really on had problems once starting the workout on the ATV it took time for the watch to respond. After the first week have not had that issue. It’s been flawless. 

    I’m using an ATV HD gen 3 and it’s only few feet from where we work out.

     The only complaint we have is does not let two people work out together on the ATV and get credit for workout. One us start the workout on the ATV and the other starts it on their phone and puts the phone on silent.
    On the iPad and the iPhone you don’t need an Apple Watch to work out. On the AppleTV, you can’t start a workout without an Apple Watch. 

    What’s that about?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    I haven’t been able to pair my series 4 watch with Apple fitness from day 1. It tries to pair but then fails. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,896member
    Rayz2016 said:
    maestro64 said:
    Wow, have not experience this problem, really on had problems once starting the workout on the ATV it took time for the watch to respond. After the first week have not had that issue. It’s been flawless. 

    I’m using an ATV HD gen 3 and it’s only few feet from where we work out.

     The only complaint we have is does not let two people work out together on the ATV and get credit for workout. One us start the workout on the ATV and the other starts it on their phone and puts the phone on silent.
    On the iPad and the iPhone you don’t need an Apple Watch to work out. On the AppleTV, you can’t start a workout without an Apple Watch. 

    What’s that about?
    Using the watch allow you to see your performance over time, and you can actually see how your vitals improve, in the last 6 weeks of using Apple Fitness+ and the watch we have seen improvements. This is only possible with the watch working in with the app. We have been going to the GYM of years and used our watch to monitor our activities but it was not always easy to monitor the your performance unless you use third party apps which may have been designed for a specific activity. 

    Yes, you you can start any workout without the watch, but they defeats the purpose, It would be nice to have multiply peoples' watch vital being display on the Apple TV verse the one person who started the workout. The Wife and I are competitive we we like to see who is doing better, grant it, men burn calories at a higher rate then women, so it not a fair comparison, but we push each other.

    The other things, Apple work out data appears to be much better than any other app, I think this is due to the fact that Apple has far more data to use to do their analysis any other watch or app out there. Their calibration to the user is much better. No I have not done a detail analysis, if just our perception after using it for so long it just track better to anyone I know using other devices.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,013member
    maestro64 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    maestro64 said:
    Wow, have not experience this problem, really on had problems once starting the workout on the ATV it took time for the watch to respond. After the first week have not had that issue. It’s been flawless. 

    I’m using an ATV HD gen 3 and it’s only few feet from where we work out.

     The only complaint we have is does not let two people work out together on the ATV and get credit for workout. One us start the workout on the ATV and the other starts it on their phone and puts the phone on silent.
    On the iPad and the iPhone you don’t need an Apple Watch to work out. On the AppleTV, you can’t start a workout without an Apple Watch. 

    What’s that about?
    Using the watch allow you to see your performance over time, and you can actually see how your vitals improve, in the last 6 weeks of using Apple Fitness+ and the watch we have seen improvements. This is only possible with the watch working in with the app. We have been going to the GYM of years and used our watch to monitor our activities but it was not always easy to monitor the your performance unless you use third party apps which may have been designed for a specific activity. 

    Yes, you you can start any workout without the watch, but they defeats the purpose, It would be nice to have multiply peoples' watch vital being display on the Apple TV verse the one person who started the workout. The Wife and I are competitive we we like to see who is doing better, grant it, men burn calories at a higher rate then women, so it not a fair comparison, but we push each other.

    The other things, Apple work out data appears to be much better than any other app, I think this is due to the fact that Apple has far more data to use to do their analysis any other watch or app out there. Their calibration to the user is much better. No I have not done a detail analysis, if just our perception after using it for so long it just track better to anyone I know using other devices.

    Congratulations!   I am glad that it is working so well for you -- not for Apple's sake, but for yours.
    I am a retired nurse who now realizes the limitations of conventional medicine and realizes that the best medicine is the self-care preventative stuff that you and your wife have been doing.   The best medicine is staying healthy and out of the doctor's office!
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