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 understand the desire to expand the capabilities of the Apple Watch by itself but please allow us to use the built-in Heart Rate Monitor on the Watch when using the iPhone as primary display and recording device while cycling.

    Currently I need to run the App on both devices at the same time which records two sets of events. This messes up all Interval timings etc during the ride and then once complete, I need to delete the event recorded by the iPhone and Watch event which has all of the Heart Rate info... It's a mess right now...

    Thanks in advance!



  • I'd definitely like to see more metrics, most importantly current pace, but also average for the entire run/ride.  I don't mind having to swipe through another screen or two for more data.  Also, I really would like to see my distance to the hundredth of mile/kilometer.  That's probably my biggest complaint about the app so far. 

  • Has anyone used the new update? 


    Is the app now useable? I moved to Nike run club a while back and just checking back in to see if Strava is now useable yet? IE is GPS accurate?

  • Issue: please fix so that heart rate (Apple Watch) will be recorded when starting an activity with phone. I use my phone as a dashboard on my bike handlebars and wish to see speed there, but record heart rate from my watch simultaneously.

  • Why is this new app slow in turning on the watch display for series 0 watches? It takes 1-2 seconds each time for the screen to turn on when the app is in use while I'm running. This screen-on delay has existed with every update of the Strava app and WatchOS since Feb 2017. 

    I did not have this screen-on delay before the refactored Strava app. Also, other Watch Series 2 compatible running apps I've tried recently do not have this same screen-on delay on series 0 hardware. This would indicate a software issue that's specific to Strava.

    I'm currently using:

    iOS 10.3.2
    WatchOS 3.2.2
    Strava 11.0.0 (8119)

  • Using iPhone Strava app directly, for running: Anyone noticing that their average pace is consistently very far off from split paces? I also notice the live average and split paces are very different from the final versions of both, post run. This has been consistently happening for a week, so it seems an update also came with another bug.

  • Quick Q- Any support using apple watch by itself? 

    How do you know if watch has GPS signal when using it without phone?

    For example today my watch didn't pick up GPS signal until 5min into run today. I only knew this by the sync after the run. Any help?


  • If you're having trouble with distance and pace not lining up, I found this post:
    It seems like the work around is to turn off Bluetooth on the phone before heading out. I haven't tried it yet, but will on my next run.

  • Once again the aw2 app has stopped working without my phone. It won't start and has the symbol of no phone connected. I have uninstalled and reinstalled a couple of times. This is starting to get very annoying!!!

  • 2 months now since the last update and still can not manage to get the app working? 


  • @Henry Penfold - I recently opened a ticket with Apple regarding the very same issue you are having with GPS as I've not been able to find any information. Strava told me it was an Apple bug where the watch's GPS does not turn on soon after the watch is disconnected from the phone. I am leaning towards agreeing with Strava's statement as almost all of my run GPS tracks in the last six weeks begin 5 to 20 minutes after I start my run. I have also had this problem using the Apple workout app with open water swims. In the first month and a half, I did not have the problem, but since then it is a consistently bad.

  • Would much prefer if the start/stop was via one of the side buttons. Sweaty finger on the touch screen doesn't work too well. Also there seems to be quite a delay from pressing start and the app actually starting, meaning I'm missing the first few hundred metres of a run.

  • @jennifer- there was an update last week

  • Hi, the following item seems to have been skipped on the development Road Map. Is it still planned to be delivered, and if so do you know when?

    - Next, we'll bring audio announcements back to the Apple Watch experience, coded directly into the watch app.

  • I concur with @Andrew Paterson...

    The haptics and beeps per mile/km split introduced in the last update are not audio announcements.

     - Next, we'll bring audio announcements back to the Apple Watch experience, coded directly into the watch app.

    Many other AW2 running apps give voice feedback including Nike Run Club, Motifit, Pear, RunGo, and others.  So it certainly is possible.

    The lack of voice feedback is the main thing that keeps me from using the Strava AW2 app, and continuing to use the Nike Run Club app even with it's shortcomings.

    In and of itself, looking at the AW2 screen while running is not that great of an experience.  With NRC, I have it set to give me updates every .25 mile which keeps me on track with my workout.  Frankly, when using the NRC app, I rarely raise my wrist to look at the app.

    This should also be configurable by either time (1, 2, 3, ... minutes) or distance (.25 mile, .50 mile, etc.).

  • Audio announcements:
    yes, waiting for that item too.
    Nike implemented it right from the first AW2-App-Version; so it shouldn't be that big deal to do the same.

  • Well everyone, THE SOLUTION is upon us. There has now been confirmation that WatchOS 4 will allow 3rd party apps to access all the Apple Workout data, including routes maps etc. So we can go running using the native watch Workout app and Strava can then access the data after the run. 

  • Since iOS 11 and watchOS 4 let third-party apps ask for and receive permission to get route data from workouts, I can't imagine that there's any justification for Strava keeping the current Apple Watch app around. Put it out of it's misery and simply use HealthKit to get data recorded by the Apple Workouts app.

    If there's some marketing reason that compels Strava to keep an Apple Watch app similar to current version, just buy Motifit or at least license the technology. Unlike the current Strava app, Motifit has the benefit of actually working reasonably well.

    If Strava wanted to make an watch app that was actually useful, they'd implement a real-time version of Fitness & Freshness as a watch complication. Sort of like Polar's Training Load, Suunto's Recovery Time, or Garmin's Training Effect.

  • what about being able to track a swim whether in the pool or open water from the iWatch series 2.

  • I wouldn't hold your breath for Strava reading from HealthKit straight away though, it took them six months to release a standalone app! I've ditched Strava all together now and just use the activity app as I want to be able to set goals and receive real time notifications. 

  • I am a cyclist.

    I am not interested in cycling with just my watch (I understand why runners might like this). What I really want is an iphone app (as I have an iphone mounted on my bike), that allows me to use my Apple Watch as a quick display (of what ever I fancy, but speed/cadence would be good), and that I can use to provide my heart rate to my phone (which records everything and provides route planning, etc....)

    What P.....s me off is that this all worked fine when I bought my AW2, as the original AW1 app worked exactly like this.

    Now, if i open my AW2 app, it just wants to record a ride and at the same time I open my iphone app, it just wants to record a ride. I really don't want to record the same ride twice, but I do want to use the expensive tech I have purchased, together!!!!

    If this hadn't used to work as desired, I would be happy to wait, but STRAVA has decided to make a retrograde step, so that it could claim to have created a great AW2 app, I am very annoyed.

    STRAVA - when will you sort this?

  • Unfortunately, the Strava App has no voice feedback.
    Therefore, I will have to use the Nike+ Club
  • I would like it if the broken features could be fixed before adding any new features. Having in-run split notifications ACTUALLY work would be a big plus. I had them working (most of the time) then the new update borked it again. The notifications are on the watch after I close the app, but won't come up during the run. I know I'm not the only one with this problem.

  • @Chris 

    I completely agree, not holding my breath for Strava to implement the ability to pull data from the Health in WatchOS 4.

    Everyone I know with Apple Watches that previously ran with Strava have since dumped Strava premium and Strava and are now using competitors. I do think this disaster that Strava has caused is probably resulting in a lot of people leaving Strava. I just gave Motifit Run a try over the weekend and was blown away with how well it worked and the features it comes with. But I still sync it with Strava. The only thing that keeps me coming back to Strava is having  all my history there.

    I just don't understand how Strava are getting it so wrong. The GPS distance in Strava is always wrong, and the Heart Rate tracking doesn't work sometimes as well.

    I really hope Strava are listening. I think they have a real opportunity here to be first off the line to support Health integration, so we can use the native Activity app and immediately sync to Strava after. WatchOS 4 Beta is out and they could be working this right now, no need for a 6 month wait. This is rocket science!

  • Hi Elle,

    Using the AW2 and runs are being recorded on the watch reasonably well/accurate, however when I sync with my iPhone, the recorded total distance is shorter (for one run it was 2km shorter on an 8km) and slower, however the uploaded split times seem to be correct i.e. split times don't match the total distance. The maps show either starting well after where I start or finishing well before I finished.

    It was every now and then initially, now it's almost every run.


  • It's really annoying not being able to see what's going on with the workout on the phone screen. Now I have to choose between being able to use my phone display (by starting the workout on the phone) and getting HR data (starting the workout on the watch). I understand wanting to make the watch independent is great, but doing away with the connection all together is a big frustration. Any plan to fix this?

  • Hey guys remember when the Strava app worked.

    Ah, those were the days.

  • @Mat I am starting to forget since it has been so long since it worked and no updates from the Strava team related to all of the features they removed. Those were the days...

    I am giving up and turning off notifications on this thread. I have been tracking this thread with the hopes Strava would announce they are fixing it but it appears they don't want to listen to their paying users. I was a premium user for a few years but canceled when this update hit. 

  • Just use Runkeeper, Apple Watch folks. I have tested all the apps and Strava and Nike (ironically) are the .... least good. I keep checking into this thread in the hope that Strava will sort itself out and be KOA (King of the Apps) again but it looks unlikely.

    Runkeeper isn't very sexy but it measures accurately from the first step and can be used with or without iPhone, (even first generation watches - you choose with/without before pressing Go, and when you get home it automatically transfers your run to their server and your phone, but with no map or elevation stats, obviously).

  • A very annoyed Apple Watch series 1 user here....

    How can a ubiquitous, fundimental and essential feature such as audio cues be removed with an update, and STILL not be reimplemented.

    If it wasn't for the community aspect of Strava, I'd have gone back to Runkeeper exclusively as soon as audio cues were removed.

    What an absolute cluster.

    Can we PLEASE get some indication of timescale or progress, or at the very least some indication that this has been recognised and is being actively rectified.

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