Apple has released the first developer preview of iOS 14.5 and it has something for fitness enthusiasts. With this release, Fitness+ subscribers are getting access to casting via the AirPlay 2 protocol.

This new feature isn’t entirely unexpected. TechCrunch has already discussed the topic regarding Apple’s release of iOS 14.5 beta 1, and it now actually brings the idea to reality and gives Fitness+ subscribers a way of casting video and audio to a compatible device that supports AirPlay 2. This includes compatible set-top boxes and smart television sets that have adopted the AirPlay 2 protocol.

There is no denying that this type of feature will make the Fitness+ platform a lot more appealing for fitness enthusiasts and amateurs alike who want to cast their content to the big screen.

With that said, the process isn’t exactly seamless and it does come with a fairly large caveat in this fitness-related metrics and activity rings don’t get pushed to the compatible device along with the video and audio.

The biggest difference here is that metrics won’t be displayed on screen. That means you lose things like your rings, calories burned, etc. They’ll have to rely on the connected Apple Watch and iPhone or iPad for that information. Not the end of the world, but they’re an important part of the Fitness+ experience. Apple no doubt wants to continue to incentivize its own hardware ecosystem, while working to grow the exercise app.

As is usually the case with most platforms, the initial launch is being followed by an iterative approach to rolling out new features and functionality. But, one of the biggest gripes with the initial launch of Fitness+ back in December was that AirPlay 2 wasn’t in place for early adopters. Given that it has followed just weeks later as part of this release, there doesn’t seem to be any technical reason why it wasn’t included initially.

Developers have access to the iOS 14.5 beta right now, so are able to give Fitness+ and AirPlay 2 casting a spin. A public version of the beta is expected very soon.

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