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Apple launches audio walking experience to encourage exercise

Apple has unveiled a new audio-based fitness feature, narrated by celebrities, which is designed to encourage more people to go out for a walk.

The tech giant has launched Time to Walk, which uses stories and playlists from famous guests including Dolly Parton and Shawn Mendes to help promote regular exercise.

The new feature has been added to the firm’s Apple Fitness+ subscription-based workout service, which is linked to the Apple Watch.

The first four episodes of the new experience – which feature Parton, Mendes, NBA player Draymond Green and Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba – have been released to mark its rollout, with more content to follow every Monday until the end of April.

The episodes will appear to Fitness+ subscribers in the Workout app on the Apple Watch, with each lasting between 25 and 40 minutes.

Apple said the episodes will also include photos that appear on the Apple Watch as the guest speaks and linked to what they are discussing, while short music playlists will follow the stories to extend the experience.

“Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world, and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies,” Apple’s senior director of fitness technologies, Jay Blahnik, said.

“A walk can often be more than just exercise: It can help clear the mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective.

“Even throughout this challenging period of time, one activity that has remained available to many is walking.

“With Time to Walk, we’re bringing weekly original content to Apple Watch in Fitness+ that includes some of the most diverse, fascinating, and celebrated guests offering inspiration and entertainment to help our users keep moving through the power of walking.”

As part of the announcement, Apple confirmed that for Watch wearers who use a wheelchair, the feature becomes Time to Push and when activated automatically starts an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.

Apple Fitness+ was launched last year as a £9.99 subscription service, offering a range of workout sessions and classes led by pro instructors, which can be viewed on an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV – with workout data linked to an Apple Watch.