Is Apple working to create the iTunes of fitness apps? That’s what it looks like from a recent patent application, first reported by AppleInsider. The application, titled “Systems and Methods for Accessing Personalized Fitness Services Using a Portable Electronic Device,” lays out the plans for a piece of software that could help people reach a variety of fitness goals.
The application would provide a number of services, such as finding a gym, seeing fitness class schedules, creating and keeping goals, counting calories and even providing workout guides and how-to videos. There will also be a social aspect of the app, allowing uses to share their accomplishments and challenge their friends.
While apps like MapMyFitness and RunKeeper Pro already allow users to track and share their workouts, Apple seems to be looking to build a product that other fitness companies can use to sell their services. Users would be able to see available services and receive incentives to join, such as coupons or discounts. There are also a number of “upsell” opportunities, such as personal trainer services once you’re already at the gym, play-lists that might be heard during a class or even equipment.
While tracking workouts and runs has a lot of appeal for more advanced enthusiasts, the social networking aspects and motivation elements of this proposed software may offer something more to those who are new to the gym. Studies have shown that social support is a very important factor when it comes to weight loss, so social networking may be key to the success of such a product.
What tools would you like to see incorporated in a fitness app?