Apple said in September that it was launching a feature called Group Workouts on Fitness+ that would use iOS 15's SharePlay tool for exercise sessions over FaceTime. The company just announced that Group Workouts is available starting today, so you can get up to 32 friends together to follow along with the company's exercise or meditation videos.
To use the new features, you'll need to update to iOS 15.1 or iPadOS 15.1, as well as watchOS 8.1, which are available today. Those who plan on watching the videos on their Apple TV will also need tvOS 15.1. To start a Group Workout, you'll need to first be on a FaceTime call, go to the Fitness app, then pick the video to follow. As you all sweat it out, Apple will display each person's metrics on their own screens. When someone moves ahead on the Burn Bar (which appears on specific workouts with more cardio activity) or closes their rings, everyone gets an alert so you can celebrate together.
SharePlay wasn't available when iOS 15 launched earlier this year, and during our testing of the iOS 15 beta it was buggy and unstable. The company just released iOS 15.1 today, bringing the ability to SharePlay over FaceTime, so you can watch movies and videos with your friends or just show them what's on your iPhone.
Fitness+ is also expanding to 15 new countries. From Nov. 3rd, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates will be able to access the service. In America, those on UnitedHealthcare insurance can get a year of Fitness+ on their plans at no additional cost, starting Nov. 1st.
Update (at 1:15pm ET): This post was edited to add information about iOS 15.1's availability starting today.