With Apple Fitness+ launching today, early reviews praise its excellent form [Updated]

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Apple Watch is key to the new Apple Fitness+ subscription service.
Apple Watch is key to the new Apple Fitness+ subscription service.
Photo: Apple

With Apple Fitness+ set to launch Monday, a handful of early reviews say the subscription service is a winner that makes fitness fun.

If you’ve got an Apple Watch and access to gym equipment in your home, it’s practically a no-brainer at $9.99 a month. Could this be a Peloton beater?

Apple Fitness+ launches on December 14

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Apple Fitness+ will whip you into shape starting December 14.
Apple Fitness+ will whip you into shape starting Monday.
Photo: Apple

Apple Fitness+, Apple’s $9.99-a-month subscription workout service built around Apple Watch, will launch December 14.

The service will launch with 10 workout types. These include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill (for running and walking), Rowing and Mindful Cooldown. The sessions are led by an elite team of fitness experts we profiled here.

Apple fixes frustrating delays in macOS Big Sur downloads [Update: Maybe not!]

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Get your macOS Big Sur download now.
Here’s why you couldn’t download macOS Big Sur earlier.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Anyone who struggled to download the just-released macOS Big Sur might not be surprised to learn that Apple’s backend systems experienced major problems Thursday. By early afternoon, Apple said it fixed the problem. However, glitches lingered, as Apple admitted late in the afternoon.

“At present, you may see this error message appear when attempting to download macOS Big Sur,” Apple Support said on Twitter. “Apple is aware of this behavior and is currently investigating. Try waiting a while and attempting the download again.”

Today in Apple history: iCloud takes our files and photos to the sky

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Steve Jobs shows iCloud to the world.
Steve Jobs called iCloud Apple's hard disk in the sky.
Photo: Apple

October 12: Today in Apple history: With iCloud launch, Apple moves beyond its digital hub strategy October 12, 2011: Apple launches iCloud, a service that lets users automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to their various devices.

iCloud’s arrival marks the end of Apple’s “digital hub” strategy — and ushers in an age of inter-device communication and non-localized files.

More free Apple TV+ with subscriptions extended through January

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Apple gives away up to 3 more months of Apple TV+.
All who received a free Apple TV+ subscription last autumn just got an extension.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple added up to three months to the free Apple TV+ subscriptions it gave many of its customers in 2019. And it’s giving monthly rebates to some of those who paid for an annual subscription.

Apple did not give a reason for the extension. But it might give the service time to start the second seasons of its original slate of programs. These likely would be beginning already, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production for months.

Meet the super-fit team behind Apple Fitness+

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Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Photo: Apple

Over the past 12 months, Apple quietly assembled an elite team of fitness trainers from around the world. Bound to secrecy, they’ve been moving across the country to start new lives in Los Angeles, without even being able to tell their friends exactly what they’re up to.

These are the stars of Cupertino’s latest subscription service, Apple Fitness+. It’s the first Apple-branded product to focus so intensely on a handful of individuals. So, as you’d expect, they’re a pretty extraordinary bunch. Let’s meet them!

Apple takes on Peloton with new Fitness+ service

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With Apple Fitness+ you can workout in front of your TV Jane Fonda-style
With Apple Fitness+, you can work out in front of your TV, Jane Fonda-style.
Photo: Apple

Apple took its fitness offering to the next level Tuesday with a new addition to its stable of subscription services: Apple Fitness+.

Integrating with Apple Watch and featuring exclusive workout videos from a team of “world-class” trainers, this upcoming service is designed to provide a new way to log workouts and close your Activity rings.

Apple explores new ways to promote its services

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Apple services are important to the company’s future profits.
Apple.com was all about Apple TV+ on Friday. It’s all part of advertising this company’s services.
Screenshot: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ took over the Apple.com home page on Friday. And the company also released a lengthy video about a game recently added to Apple Arcade. These Apple services are seen as increasingly important to its bottom line. And the company is using new ways to advertise them.

Today in Apple history: Ping social network fails to strike a chord

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Ping iTunes
Apple's music social network starts strong but fails fast.
Photo: Apple

September 1: Today in Apple history: Apple's Ping social network fails to strike a chord September 1, 2010: Apple’s new music-focused social network, Ping, ships as part of iTunes 10. Apple says the service will let users discover new music and more easily follow their favorite artists.

Ping racks up 1 million signups in the first 48 hours. Nevertheless, Apple’s social network is doomed from the start.

Today in Apple history: MobileMe gets to R.I.P.

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MobileMe
So long, MobileMe.
Photo: Apple

July 1: Today in Apple history: Apple shuts down MobileMe web service, pushes iCloud July 1, 2012: Apple shuts down its MobileMe web service, pushing users to switch to iCloud.

Launched in 2008, MobileMe was a subscription-based suite of online services and software created by Apple. It included features like Find my iPhone, a MobileMe photo gallery, chat facilities, online calendar, storage and other cloud-based services. After letting it limp along for four years, Cupertino finally decides to pull the plug, giving MobileMe users until the end of July to remove their data from the service.