New Strava app for Apple Watch to support Series 2+

We are excited to release an updated Strava app which supports standalone recording using the built-in GPS of the Apple Watch Series 2+. 

Please note: To support the GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2+, we redesigned the app to work separately from the phone. Even if your watch still connects to the GPS from your phone, the app functions independently on the watch.

If you're experiencing technical troubles installing, recording, or syncing Apple Watch activities, please contact us directly by submitting a ticket at the bottom of this post. 

Learn more in our Apple Watch article



  • I can't believe I've been waiting all of Q4 2016 and the better part of Q1 2017 for this app update.  Its garbage, absolute unadulterated garbage for any runner who amazingly enough doesn't want to carry his phone while running. 

    I won't go into the features I would like to see added, because there's no point of adding fancy accessories to a car that doesn't have an engine.  Get the car running first and then we can talk about making it fancy.

    On my morning run the following happened:

    1. Recorded 0 distance for the first 0.5 miles.  After which I stopped and ended the run on my watch only to be told I couldn't discard it because it did not detect any motion during the work out (oddly enough it still auto paused when I stopped running to end the run).  I was able to force a reset.

    2. Started a new run on my watch at that point.  It instantly gained 0.6 miles after running 0.2 miles into the new run.  Initially I thought the app somehow auto corrected but when it brought my mile pace to 1.24 on my watch I knew better.  On the bright side, NEW PERSONAL RECORD!  (Also a world record too...shame Guinness wasn't there to witness).

    3. There was a huge lag between me raising my wrist to see my info during the run.  This is both annoying and ultimately unsafe.

    4. Distance tracking is def off as its the same run I do every morning but I was always tracking at least 0.1 - 0.2 miles more for each marker.  Odd part was is the overshoot wasn't constant, it varied...which I interrupt as some major issues with the coding of the app.  Its one thing for it to be constantly higher (or low), but for variation to be present it means there's something more going on there.

    5. The darn thing would keep auto pausing during my run.  I'd lift my wrist and after a few seconds lag it would show the screen grayed out with auto pause on. (I was still running).

    Based on what everyone else has said it sounds like I'm going to be pretty pissy when I try and use my phone and watch during my next ride.

    Here I thought paying for Runkeppers premo service was going to be a waste of money while I waited for Strava to get the AW2 app out the door.  Something tells me I'll be using Runkepper for the better part of this year while Strava struggles to catch up with everyone else.

    As much as I wanted to see Strava release this app 4 months ago, they should have sat on it and gotten it right.  Now they're trying to fix something thats broken and add features that people want to see.  At this rate it'll take twice as long.

    Keep at it guys, I do love the app (at least from my phone).  Here's a hint, double or triple your coding staff before your subscribers start jumping Strava like a ship on fire.  College students and fresh grads are cheap labor...

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  • I used the Strava app on my apple watch for my run on Sunday. I ran with my friend, she has a Garmin watch. At the end of our run, I apparently did 41km and she did 35km (we did the exact same route!!!). I just mapped the route we did on Strava again and her watch was correct and mine not. How is it possible that there can be such a huge difference in distance. We are not talking a few hundred meters, this is a 6km difference in distance!!!!!!

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  • We released an update today which addresses the overestimated distance recordings that were reported with the Apple Watch. We'd love to hear if you notice an improvement with the distance accuracy of your activities. 

    Since we released the redesigned app for the Apple Watch, we've seen a few common feedback trends and working to address your concerns:

    Phone app is no longer tethered or connected to Apple Watch during recording:

    • To support the GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2, we redesigned the recording experience to work separately from the phone. This meant that we could no longer support the way the phone app and the watch app previously connected. Even if your watch still uses the GPS from the phone, the recording experience is the same as with the Series 2: the app functions independently on the watch.

    Apple Watch heart rate data cannot be recorded with other sensor data:

    • We understand that this use-case is essential especially for cyclists. We are looking into a solution and will post an update after further research.

    Beacon and Live Segment notifications do not work on Apple Watch:

    • Both of these Premium features rely on cell data to broadcast your location to our servers. In order to support the standalone recording experience for the Series 2 (where you can leave your phone at home), we can no longer support these features in the Apple Watch recording experience.

    Audio announcements each km/mile or .5 km/mile:

    • Work is already in progress to develop audio announcements that work on the redesigned Strava app. Please stay tuned for the next update.  

    Other features coming soon:

    • - Adding average speed to display
    • - An Apple Watch complication
    • - A better activity summary after recording
    • - Discarding an activity on the watch


    If you're experiencing other technical troubles installing, recording, or syncing Apple Watch activities, please contact us directly by submitting a ticket at the bottom of this post. 

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  • You have created an apple watch app that solves a problem that I didn't have, and broke my use of the app in the process. If you really "can't connect" the watch and iOS apps, you should have separate versions of the watch app--I was quite happy with it being tethered to the phone, and now that it isn't I don't get the data that I want. What's the point of an app like Strava--and premium in particular--when you can't get the data you need?

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  • 5.12 was absolutely perfect for those of us who prefer the advantages of a tethered experience and now Strava are acting like it's not possible. I would happily pay to get 5.12 back but feel like it should be free to us Premium members.

    What a slap in the face to long time Strava users.

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  • Update appreciated. GPS seems better, if not perfect. Keep working at this though as it seems you've made a big stride.


    "To support the GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2, we redesigned the recording experience to work separately from the phone." - does this mean that AW1 users will never get their pre-update experience back? I'm AW2 but I feel for AW1 users. This isn't really fair, as it was touted as an 'upgrade' with 'bug fixes' but has actually ruined their experience - for good? Just make a separate screen for AW1 users so they at least have what they had previously. AW1 users, I'm a dev and can tell you that this is possible, so don't accept anybody telling you that it isn't.

    "Beacon and Live Segment notifications do not work on Apple Watch: Both of these Premium features rely on cell data to broadcast your location to our servers. In order to support the standalone recording experience for the Series 2 (where you can leave your phone at home), we can no longer support these features in the Apple Watch recording experience." - Beacon, fine. Although if you resolved the tethering issue (i.e allowed it) and a user did have their phone tethered, you could add that back in. This isn't a wild edge case, as most cyclists I know have their phone somewhere in case of emergency - so you could use the phone's connectivity. Running not so much (although I've always thought of the beacon feature more geared towards long bike rides), Maybe at a later date. Users pay for this and you've taken it away from them. With that in mind, perhaps it should be available to free users, too, so premium users aren't paying for something they can't use (if they switch to AW-only) ? Live Segments - why can't you download these to the Watch in advance (think offline Google Maps)? Wouldn't that solve your problem? Saying it's impossible seems like a drastic under-estimation of your devs.

    You've made no mention of swimming. I'd put this way before a complication, in terms of roadmap.

    I've said this before on this thread, but please just hire some extra developers. We waited so long for 2 screens with very minimal information - clearly your WatchOS dev team is a little lacking. You have the money and, looking at the complaints in this thread, surely the incentive.

    Thanks for the update, though. I'd also request that the App Store update notes carry a little more detail - for those users who aren't aware that they're beta testers, don't know this thread exists and aren't sure why their stats/experience keep changing.

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  • You know what?  This app works great.  I love that it's stripped-down, simple, and it works.  My fears of being overly sensitive to inputs with gauntlets and a jacket on have not come true.  

    Nice work folks, nice work.

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  • Recently switched to Runkeeper and they seem to have figured out the issue with supporting the standalone AW2 and still supporting people that bring their phones.

    They have an option on the watch app, Watch only or watch + iPhone. So they give you a choice that Strava have decided for us. The watch + iPhone setting allows the two to mirror/tether like Strava used to.

    Maybe take a page from their book and this would be a non issue.

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  • Hi, i'd like to add my feedback / use case to the above: 

    For me, who predominantly cycles, the AW 2 would ideally fuction as just an info display and remote for strava on the iphone. So all sensors would be paired to the phone and all tracking / recording is done by the phone - the watch would just be a remote dispay for this.

    Also, for me, and i appreciate every cyclist is different, the watch does not need to have it's own HR monitor on, it should just display the HR strap data the iphone is recording.

    This means i can ride with my phone i a pocket (always ride with phone in case of emergencies) but not have to use the display - maximising battery;  the watch will be my display and because it will not be using its own HR, battery will also be maximised.

    Otherwise for running, having just the watch - great! Just please give us the option to have a choice how we use iphone / watch together.

    oh also, would be great to finally resolve the double entries in healthkit issue please - unless its only me who still has that? :-)



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  • Very disappointing, premium features no longer work - monthly subscription has just been cancelled, sorry Strava but you have failed a lot of users!

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  • This app is a great idea but I have been unable to get it to work properly so far. It seems to be pausing and not restarting. A recent 10km bike ride generated an 11second 0km Strava result and today's 4.5km run showed as 0.7km taking 30 odd seconds. The previous app worked fine on my Apple Watch series 2 in conjunction with my phone. Any ideas what could be the issue?

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  • I have a request, the end of the activity you can do it by pressing the fource-touch Apple watch display.
    I ask this because I happened especially when it rains that Apple watch display is active in contact with clothes and inadvertently push the logoff button.

    Other question, in the future, there will be the opportunity to follow up with the apple watch a path created via your site or app?

    Thank you

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  • Today you wrote (on page 1):
    Beacon and Live Segment notifications do not work on Apple Watch:
    Both of these Premium features rely on cell data to broadcast your location to our servers. In order to support the standalone recording experience for the Series 2 (where you can leave your phone at home), we can no longer support these features in the Apple Watch recording experience.

    So why isn't it possible to use live segments like on a Garmin Forerunner 935XT?
    The Garmin watch has no cell connectivity. You have to download your segments on the watch. So why not do the same on  AW2?
    Has it to do with differences between Garmin Conncect Architecture and iOS?
    If so, why don't other Garmin watches have that features, like the 235 or the Fenix 3 or 5 series?

    And if it depends only on the lack of cell data, does it mean that new Android Wear 2 watches like the LG Watch Sport or the Huawei Watch 2 - both with cell data - will get Strava live segments?
    Just wondering....

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  • I trialed (run) the updated app this AM on a known route.  The GPS accuracy seemed to be right in line with the previous 5 times I ran the same route-Apple Watch Series 2.

    In addition to the planned updates outlined in Elle's post yesterday, I would add:

    • With the addition of average pace (necessity!!), include the ability to customize fields to have the desired data in the location you want on the screen.
    • Manual lap option for interval training (Apple workout has this by double touching the screen)
    • Ability to lock the screen, for those wet days or times the watch is covered by clothes.
    • I agree the option to choose the GPS source would be helpful....If I decide to run with my phone I don't want to be drawing down the battery by the App turning the GPS on on the phone.
    • Add Indoor/Treadmill option the uses calibrated pedometer function of Watch.
    • Include the Cadence data collected during a run from the Apple Watch.
    • ***MUST FIX the Strava App integration with Apple Health!!  Very annoying that if I allow permission for Strava to write data to the Health App it always repeats the last 30 days or so of data that was collected.  Even if I manually delete it , it rewrites it the next time I open the Strava App.
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  • I have to say that though there are some obvious common themes in this thread, everybody has their own preferences which no doubt makes the job even more difficult for the Strava dev team. 

    My experience with the AW2 and the new app has been largely positive. Yes there are occasions when the heart-rate data is missing, and the GPS doesn't necessarily always begin straight away, but it's difficult to know which of these problems are with the app or the watch itself.

    I find that I broadly agree with Simon Seddon in this thread, though I feel a complication is/should be low-hanging fruit and surely snaffled first.

    I strongly agree with his comments regarding communication with us customers - we're not stupid and being kept in the dark is frustrating and will likely lead to people going elsewhere. For instance, I know that the watch and phone are now untethered but does that mean the watch will always use its own GPS regardless? I'm a cyclist and like others always ride with my phone, but I've been turning my bluetooth off before each ride to ensure the watch's GPS is used, not the phone - I'm informed that the watch should have a more reliable GPS than the phone. Anyone on here clarify whether I'm doing this unnecessarily please? It makes for a laborious syncing experience post-ride.

    More low-hanging fruit is surely GPS-lock notification, followed by an audible cue to say your ride/run has begun/paused/stopped. 

    I think the force-touch idea to save ride/run also makes a lot of sense.

    Finally, and to echo Simon's comments, keep us in the loop! Tell us what bugs you've fixed, we're interested or we wouldn't be still along for the ride - how many Strava app users check the app store daily to see if the app has been updated? 

    Actually, finally, Strava don't let us, your customers, think that this is the finished product that you've been trumpeting the arrival of, because whilst it's a step in the right direction, there's still so many things that need to be fixed/added before this is the incredible AW app it can be. Please keep going, and please keep us posted!

    Thanks :-)

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  • I'm seeing cyclists very disappointed by this on a variety of message boards and social media platforms.

    This really should have been a separate app as it serves almost an entirely different purpose and has so many limitations. The lack of battery life and beacon brought the safety aspect way down too. 

    The vast VAST majority of cyclists ride with their phone stashed in a pack or pocket. Sacrificing so much to make it a standalone watch app is pretty bizarre. 

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  • Elle & Strava
    I'm impressed! I'm just back from an evening run. I gave a try to the strava app with my aw2 after today's update and measured the run with my tomtom as well.
    Strava 6.7km, TomTom 6.76km
    Strava 6:54min/km, TomTom 6:51min/km
    And the splits are practically identic!
    km1: S 6:38, TT 6:34
    km2: S 6:32, TT 6:31
    km3: both 6:40
    km4: S 7:31, TT 7:32
    km5: S 6:39, TT 6:37
    km6: both 7:13

    well done!!!
    Add the audio cued and instant pace and it'll be the app I wanted 😁

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  • Hi, FYI the watch (Apple Watch 2) seemed to change to "paused" periodically while I was riding and by the end of my 42mi ride, the watch recorded a ride a full 2 miles shorter than my Garmin (it's a ride I know well and which my iPhone Strava app records with no probs.)

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  • @ "We released an update today which addresses the overestimated distance recordings that were reported with the Apple Watch. We'd love to hear if you notice an improvement with the distance accuracy of your activities. "

    Hi there, I have noticed an incorrect decrease in distance on my runs. Previous version was calculating it accurately . Using google maps to measure the run it is 5.27km. New strava is calculating it @ 5.1km. Previous version was 5.3k, Running with the iphone was 5.3km.... 200m over the course of 5 and a bit Km is quite a bit and it does have a fairly major impact on average pace etc... 


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  • I used apple watch for my ride on Sunday while i was using it, i saw the strava app is recording, but, after I pressed finish button, and the app in my iPhone ready to sync and I slid it, I could not found my ride in the Strava app. I only found the data in my Health app not in the strava app.

    hope you can tell me the information.



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  • Heads up folks, version 6.0.1 still exhibits the same disconnect between iPhone and Watch. If you value this feature, don't update beyond 5.12.0

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  • Just lost my morning ride today using Strava for Aplle Watch 2. Not what I'm paying premium subscription for!

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  • I have just been told by Strava support that so they can add support Series 2 watches they have disconnected the activity for the watch/phone (I have an original Apple Watch).    So if I start a ride/run on my phone I **can't** get updates on my wrist. I can't believe they thought this was a good idea!

    Have I really been told this correctly?  How the heck am I meant to check pace etc..?


    Good-bye subscription.. 



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  • Thanks a lot for the great update!
    I did a run yesterday and the gps was spot-on (before the update it measured 300m too much on a 8km route).

    All I need now is the taptic announcements each km including summary of the last km. Then your app fits perfect for my purposes - although I understand that a lot of people need the old tethered behavior - so please give it back to them e.g. via a different app.

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  • I've found a solution to this mess. It's called downloading Cyclemeter and cancelling my Premium Subscription. It really is excellent for cycling and has all features of the old Strava app had prior to this disaster of an update. It automatically uploads to activities to Strava as well. Thoroughly recommend it.

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  • The updated app for AW is just shit. So many runs are not syncing and GPS just does not seems to connect. After every run, there isn't a way to view summary which makes syncing more like a gamble when connected back to phone.

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  • Hello 

    With the new version (21 mars), I cannot launch strava on the watch.

    The button “begin” remains displayed permanently.

    I reinstalled the application on the watch and restarted it....without success.

    Thank you for your support

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  • The watch seems to track about 20% short for mileage during rides. When compared with fellow riders with other devices, my mileage is consistently short. This is before and after Monday's update. Hope you can help.

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  • I'm just adding my voice to the calls to being back tethering of iPhone and Apple Watch 2. Some of us rely on our phones for music and audio cues while exercising, and now the watch provides zero data from the phone while running. Having to start a SEPARATE activity on the Apple Watch just so you have some idea of how you're doing is a terrible user experience.

    A quick look shows Runkeeper has the option now to run Apple Watch app on its own, or tethered to the iPhone, so please confirm this is on the way - as a Premium user I don't want to have to migrate away from Strava - but right now it just doesn't work for me (and many others apparently).  It can be done, and SHOULD be done.

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  • I have been using the strava app on apple watch 2 for a couple weeks now, and had my first issue today.  I opened the app on my watch, and repeatedly tried to press the start button to no avail.  This is the first time Ive ever had issues with the strava app not starting.  Im really not sure what the issue was.  I never had to open my phone, or even have my phone with me before.

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