Finally, you can pair your Apple Watch with equipment in the gym for seamless access to all your fitness tracking data.
Gym-goers and smartwatch fans, rejoice! Apple finally launched their long-awaited GymKit, which allows you to pair your Apple Watch directly with cardio equipment.
Just tap your Apple Series 3 Watch on an eligible machine (for now, this includes treadmills, ellipticals, stair-climbers, and indoor bikes—more to come in 2018), and you'll be instantly paired for accurate two-way communication. Seriously, that's it. (Related: The Best Holiday Gifts for Tech Lovers)
"A lot of the times we get on machines wearing our watch, and it's like—wait a minute—the machine is giving me data my watch doesn't have and the watch is giving me data the machine doesn't have, and they don't always match," says Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness for health technologies. "So we thought there was a great opportunity to add accuracy and solve a lot of simple problems with GymKit."
Launched on Monday in New York City with Life Time Athletic clubs, Equinox will also be rolling out the GymKit technology throughout 2018. So while access to GymKit might be limited at the moment, with 80 percent of the world's cardio equipment manufacturers on board (including Life Fitness and Technogym), you can definitely expect to see it in a gym near you soon. (As with Apple Pay, compatible machines will have a logo so you know you can connect your watch.)
Here's how it can improve your workout:
1. Discrepancies, be gone! No one likes seeing drastically different readouts on the treadmill and their wrist. With GymKit, that's a thing of the past. Now, the machines share data so you won't need to guess about things like calories, distance, speed, or pace. And even better? Whereas before you would tackle inclines on a treadmill and your Apple Watch would have no clue (aside from perhaps an increased heart rate) now the device gets that feedback straight from the machine. You can keep track of elevation gains and even flights climbed with the stair stepper, monitoring your progress every step of the way.
2. You don't need to look at the watch anymore. Sure, that Apple Watch is pretty, but the point of GymKit is to use the functionality and beauty of these massive monitors in front of you so that you don't need to keep staring down. After syncing your watch with the machine, your data is now at eye level in real time on a much bigger screen. Less worrying about being Taylor Swift, more focus on crushing those intervals.
3. It paves the way for a deeper relationship with your personal trainer. You tell your trainer what you do when you're not together, right? Well, okay, maybe you fudge it a little. With GymKit and Apple Watch's activity-sharing feature, you can now send your biggest accountability partner an exact snapshot of what you're up to when you're not together. Friends sharing activity will be able to know exactly what kind of workout you did with a GymKit-enabled machine, as well as workout details (like pace).
Open the Health app on your Apple iPhone, and there you'll be able to take a deeper dive into the data. Even better? If you're training for something, like a marathon, these readouts make it really easy to analyze performance and go over specs with a coach.