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

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  • I want to use my Apple Watch as a second screen for my iPhone. It seems I can either use the iPhone app and receive audio cues for announcements and live segments, but I can't log heart rate data. Alternatively, I can use the Apple Watch app to log heart rate data and upload my run later, but not receive audio cues.  I Want audio cues and heart rate data.

     

    Why am I paying for Premium membership when Strava has become a less than premium service for Apple Watch owners?

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  • I'm a road and MTB cyclist and have a Gen 1 Apple watch which I loved when it was mirroring the iPhone and the three connected sensors I have.  I used to use the Apple watch to see distance covered and operate the Apple watch without opening the iPhone or stopping and getting it out my backpack. Now its independent I've had issues starting the Apple watch app and when it does work I basically have a duplication of data and have to delete the Apple watch data when finished? I also cannot control the iPhone app from the watch.  I now don't use my Apple watch which is a backward step and the reason why I returned a Garmin Fenix 3 watch and bought the Apple watch in the first place. PLEASE give us the option to have the old Apple watch app or the option to switch it from independent to mirroring mode.

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  • I am with all other cyclists and AW1 users here. What a joke. I am very disappointed frankly. 

    Will not be purchasing premium as the app is generally useless for me now. 

     

    This is all support is saying: 

    However, we understand that many people are in your position and are no longer able to capture heart rate data and other sensor data simultaneously. We are looking into a solution and will post an update to the community discussion after further research.

    Sad really.

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  • This thread was started 2 months ago. The feedback from strava, in this, the official AW2 thread, is nonexistent.

    I understand that normally the people that would post in here are users that have issues. To bitch. You don't normally take the time to comment if everything is as advertised.

    Unfortunately in this case, we are trying to get our feedback to strava, in desperation, so that we can get core functionality restored.

    Not asking for something that is impossible (virtually every other app works dual device)

    Not upset about colour (it's kinda nice)

    Not asking for free stuff (most people in here actually have paid accounts)

    We are just trying to get the app that we know (knew) and love (loved) up to par with the community that is still great. I love the social aspect of strava. Seeing that my neighbour just went for a run gets my a$$ off the couch to go myself.

    But this is kind of insane. In 2 months, or even longer considering how long the AW2 has been out, there has been almost nothing from Strava. Just an update telling us that we won't be getting what every other app has. These requests aren't grounded in science fiction. There are justifiable user cases in virtually every single post that has come before. We are not whining.

    I only started using strava about two weeks before the AW2 app came out. I thought it was great. I couldn't wait to start using it while cycling in the spring (we get way too much snow where I am to start biking yet) I was just about to click the buy now button on premium when the new app was updated. Decided to hold off. Just in case...

    I've now purchased the pro version of Mofifit Run. I wanted to stay with strava. I really did. The motifit app is amazing. I haven't had a single complaint as of yet. It's also one click export to strava.

    Strava I'm sorry. I really am.

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  • That might tied to reason #3 in my post above. That’s been an issue since Strava has had an Apple Watch app. The app doesn’t reliably query the GPS until you start the activity, at which point it gets a very rough estimate of your location. This causes a super fast first mile every single time.

    The way I fix this is to load the Strava app on my iPhone, make sure it’s got a location lock, and THEN start the activity on my Watch. Needless to say, that defeats much of the purpose of using a Watch app to begin with.

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  • Just gave it a try.  I was walking, not running.  The GPS is a bit all over the place, but then it is with Runkeeper as well.  I recorded on Strava going to my destination, and then Runkeeper coming back.  Note Strava said I went 1.7KM but Runkeeper says I only did 1.56.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/875142652

    https://runkeeper.com/user/mitty/activity/937543989

    I didn't try auto pause yet, though looking forward to doing that on a run.  It is good that you can turn it off mid run if you like.   

    The major disappointment is the lack of configurability of the Metrics (unless I can't find how to do it?)  I prefer distance as my "big" metric, and then time, and then pace and heartrate as a smaller one.  With Runkeeper I can do this easily.  With Strava I'm stuck with pace as the "big" metric, which may well be what others are after, but not me.

    The other thing would be some kind of beeping/vibration for each Kilometre or 5 minutes of running, or, even better, the same voice announcements we get using the app.  If Nike can do that, then why not Strava?  

    I guess it's a good first effort but I'm looking forward to more features being added over time.  

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  • Also know way to discard run and why doesn't the phone app show the HR. Is this only for premium users?

     

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  • The new functionality seems to be great for one specific segment of users (Apple Watch 2 runners who run without their iPhone) and major step backwards for everyone else. As a cyclist and runner who owns an AW2, the trade-off in experiences is a real disappointment. 

    On my first run without my iPhone, I felt free. Can't wait to pair with a pair of AirPods, will be a significant improvement to go on a run without a clunky armband, and headphone wires all over the place. (Although I could do this months ago through Apple's workout app, and given my experience below, maybe I'll stick with that for now?)

    As great as the first run was, my first ride experience was equally terrible with the new features. About 5 min in I had this suspicion that the Watch and iPhone were no longer in sync/presenting the same data. And sure enough, when I got home, I didn't have all of the data. Since I started my activity from my Watch, my powermeter never connected to the iPhone. No power data. Ugh. The next ride, I started from my iPhone, but it doesn't display on the Watch unless I start a separate activity. Both of which Strava tries to upload as a separate rides.

    I have an AW0, so I was tempted to try using it, but on our ride today, my girlfriend's AW0 was all over the place.

    I think I'll use Strava while running, but in the mean time until the cycling experience is fixed I'll be using another workout app (Cyclometer).

    Wish I would have known this update was coming, I would not have updated my Strava App on my iPhone and waited to see if users were having issues. As other users have mentioned, previous attempts at major updates by Strava have typically bricked or killed other critical functionality. Regression testing.

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  • Add option to keep watch tethered:

    (Recording with power/cadence sensors, checking recording on phone)

              "This is something we're considering but it's not on our immediate roadmap. It's a significant engineering lift to ensure a seamless experience. We want to better understand the use cases and how the Apple Watch itself will evolve this year before we make any concrete plans."

     

    Is this what I think it is? Didn't we already have this? Why then take it away and then tell us we will not be getting it back? The 5.13 update BROKE the first generation Apple Watch!! If you cant make it work, give us back an app that work! Repost Strava 5.12 as a separate app if you have too. 

     

    Without proper data logging my runs are useless. 

     

    Don't leave us behind!!

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  • I am currently using a trial of Strava and was very excited to have a watch app that finally tethered to the iPhone app without any issues.  As many people have seemed to find out, this latest update seems to have broken that.  I am unable to start a run on the phone once I verify GPS and continue getting updates on my watch.  The heart rate no longer seems to sync using the watch, either.  This is very disappointing and if there is not any plans to correct this for us first gen watch owners then I cannot continue my subscription.  If anyone knows of a fix or workaround please share.

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  • I have an iPhone 6S and a first gen Apple Watch Sport. I've been fighting with the Strava app since my phone/watch  updated. This morning is the first time I went and read the update notes, so I wanted to share the challenges I've encountered:

    -No audio notifications is a huge problem. I know the notes indicate this, but I need them for my interval training losing them means I can't use the watch app.

    -Since I hadn't puzzled out the notifications before yesterday's run, I started the run from the iPhone app instead of the watch. However, this meant that I didn't get heart rate tracking.

    Being forced to choose between audio notifications and heart rate tracking is a pretty hard call. I really need both of those. I'm afraid this is a pretty disappointing set of changes.

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  • It seems you have updated this app for Apple Watch 2 users and forgotten those with the original watch. I loved the previous functionality and had no issues carrying my phone with me on rides. Having this app as standalone has left a huge flaw!!

    If my watch battery dies whilst on a long all day ride, then it will not use my phone to record the rest of the way.

    I use the watch to monitor my distance, times, and to record HR. Now I am forced to use my iPhone only and not bother with the watch on long rides. This is totally unacceptable and how did this flaw get through without thinking of this?

    The watch batteries are rubbish at the best of times when recording, but to not have the option of phone backup is downright silly.

    Please fix this!

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  • We've now lost the ability to track the heart rate data from the Apple Watch from the iPhone! Is there any way to fix this?

    Now if you start a Ride on the iPhone, it doesn't start it on the Watch like it used to and means you don't get the Heart Rate info. And if you start it on the Watch, it doesn't start it on the iPhone.

    I can understand why this is happening, but for those of us who would prefer to use our phones for those rides over a few hours this is a real step backwards!

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  • I have no interest in buying the new applewatch... so your new update is totally useless to those of us that have series 1.  Please update your update!

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  • This is such a mess. The Apple Watch simply DOES NOT WORK INDEPENDENTLY OF THE iPHONE! Please please please bring back the option to keep the strava Apple Watch app and iPhone app teathered. If I hadn't managed to downgrade to version 5.12.0 I would have no option but to find another app to track my runs. It used to work so well, now it is utterly useless. Strava, PLEASE READ THIS THREAD AND DO WHAT YOUR APPLE WATCH USERS WANT!

    I love strava, but you have really messed up here. =[

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  • No, sorry, I'll do more than leave it there. Let me explain why this screen makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall. All three update messages are relevant. Usually I let update non-messages go with just an inaudible sigh due to poor customer engagement, but since you ballsed up the app last time with a similarly minimal message – and have been called out on it so many times in this thread – I actually find this lack of communication offensive to your customer base – not least your paid members.

    Perhaps more annoying is a smaller (visually) detail - the version number. Why oh why is a major version (and a typically major major version number, usually reserved for milestone releases) jump simply labelled "Bug Fixes"? Do you know how version numbering system works? What are you doing? How have your developers became so switched off and why are you allowing it to continue? It's became apparent that something needs fixing at your HQ very urgently.

    At this rate I'll be cancelling my subscription.. just as soon as I claim that KOM I've been chasing..

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  •  Great to have available for Apple Watch a few problems

    in auto pause would not start once running had to turn auto pause of

    heart rate indicated 69 beats the whole run

    would be great to see other activities ie open water swim

    be great to have another display with average pace as well as current pace

    cheers

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  • Just used the watch without the phone, no issues and the measurements appear to spot on

    I know this has already been mentioned, but I really need average pace, either as a notification with a mile/km markers or on   a separate screen. Get that right and it's perfect

    Thankoror on

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  • Hey Elle, 

    the new AW Strava app looks good so far. Very basic, but the pace calculation is very good and constant. A huge improvement over the Nike app. 

    Some minor things, that would be great in feature versions:

    • Taptic Engine, when auto pausing, starting/stopping and maybe every km/mile
    • Intervall training (distance, duration, maybe heart rate based)
    • complication for watch faces
    • customizable metrics
    • Heart rate alerts
    • and of course swimming

    I know these things need time, but maybe one or two of them will be included this year. It would be amazing! :) 

     

    All in all I am very happy, that I don't have to use the Nike running app anymore! Thanks you and the dev team a lot for your work! 

    Best wishes,

    Sebastian

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  • Thanks Elle, I'm glad to see that Strava is working to keep up with changes in technology.

    I wasn't aware of the update until I actually went to go for a ride this morning, which honestly was not the most opportune time to find out that things were going to work differently than I was used to. I have an original Apple Watch (Series 0), so while I cannot attest to how well it works as a standalone app, I feel like it has taken a couple steps backwards in terms of previous functionality.

    Specifically, previously when I started a ride from the Watch, the iPhone app would recognize it and give me instant feedback on the display and via audio cues. That is no longer happening. Other than the GPS data, there appears to be no communication between the Watch and the iPhone. They're completely unaware of each other. Similarly, when a ride is started from the iPhone, it does not start the Watch app, and therefore there is no heart rate data for those of us that use the Apple Watch for that purpose. I don't know if that's a design flaw or a bug.

    I also had a bit of trouble getting the workout to sync once my ride was finished. I got a notification that said to open the Strava app on my iPhone so it could upload the workout, but there was no indication that it was trying to upload anything, and the workout didn't appear in my feed until after several refreshes (and eventually not until I changed my feed to "me" instead of "following" but I don't know if that's related).

    After that, I started a quick "test" ride from my Watch to see if the lack of communication was just a glitch or if it was the new expected behavior, only to find that the only way to end the ride was to save it (no option to discard it from the Watch). My iPhone app then tried to upload the test ride, which had essentially no data, so it kept saying it was uploaded with errors, and that I could tap to retry. There was no option to cancel uploading, so it just kept failing over and over and over. The only way I could get it to stop was to uninstall the app and reinstall it.

    Both of these last two problems could be solved by showing an upload queue that the user could manage, either to cancel a workout from being uploaded, or at least being able to see what's waiting to sync so they can be reassured that their data is not lost.

    Bugs aside, I feel like this update caters to a very specific set of users at the cost of alienating others. I know the bugs will be worked out, but I also hope that the missing functionality can be restored as well. I'm disappointed that an app that I rely on has become somewhat less reliable.

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  • Using the first series Apple Watch I used to send my safety beacon text from my phone and start the run from my watch. Just tried it this morning and the safety beacon was saying there was no recent activity. So much for paying for premium anymore.

    Also no more voice cues for auto pause or mile splits.

    Seems like a step backwards to have the apps not talk to each other anymore for people who still run with their phones.

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  • Elle, thank you for the followup.

    But the Watch app really needs to interface with the phone app. This is critical for cyclists, and anyone using an earlier version of the Apple Watch.

    Even I, as a Series 2 owner, would like this functionality. A Phone+Watch functionality, using the Watch’s GPS, would would restore Beacon, as well as any other lost functionality.

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  • I'm really sad, this latest update has really messed up what I used to like about Strava - I have the original (non GPS) Apple Watch, and now it doesn't track what's happening on my phone.  If I start the run on my phone, then I get the audio cues, but my watch doesn't think Strava is running.  If I start the run on my watch, then the watch appears to be tracking the run but the iPhone doesn't think it's running and I don't get audio cues.  I also want to keep the iPhone running because it's reliable, at least 1 out of 5 of my runs lately the watch app stops working and I don't want to lose my run data.

    If you can't keep them tethered, I'm going to have to switch apps, and I really like Strava.  I hope you'll change your mind about abandoning the tethered mode, or offer a way to get the old app?

    -Andy

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  • I'm extremely disappointed with this update. 

    I've been a premium subscriber for over a year now and was very happy with Strava's use of my Apple Watch (original). After the update, several of the features I depend on have been removed.

    The most annoying change is that I am forced to choose between seeing my pace on my watch or getting audible cues through my iPhone+headphones but I cannot do both.

    I understand that you've rebuilt the watch app from the ground up to support Series 2 and that there are fixes for this in the pipeline, but there was absolutely no indication in the upgrade text that I would be losing features by upgrading. Had I know I would have happily stuck with the previous version!

    I also do not understand why you had to remove the Taptic notification for end-of-mile/km. It seems crazy to take out both audio notification and that too. Now the only way I can determine if I've finished a km is by checking my watch periodically.

    Removing live segment notification is another kick in the teeth. This is a premium feature that I now lose if I want to be able to view my pace on my watch. 

    Auto-pause for running also seems to be broken. I spent 10 minutes in the middle of my last run trying to figure out why this wasn't working and ruined my pace as a result. Disabling and reenabling it from the watch's settings screen did nothing.

    Finally, when I first upgraded my previous preferences for running as my primary sport and my use of kms instead of miles were reset. I was expecting to be able to head out the door on my run and hit start as I normally do but instead had to fiddle around with these preferences again and restart my run.

    All in all, this is a really disappointing release for what is otherwise an excellent product. I sincerely hope fixes will appear quickly for most or all of the above otherwise I will not be renewing my subscription.

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  • Hi Elle.

    I'm a runner who used AW for HR and iPhone for mileage and live segment announcements. I was happy with the last app. Can you just rerelease it as a second app and call it Strava Watch Connected or something similar while all the heavy engineering takes place to get the functionality back into one app.

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  • Strava,

    Your continued lack of support and functionality for all users both free and premium is upsetting. How in the world could you discriminate your users and reduce functionality like you have?

     

    RETURN APP VERSION 5.12 FOR ORIGINAL AW USERS!!

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  • The new Apple Watch app has completely broken the key feature for cyclists. Before, you could run the Apple Watch app and know that it was measuring heart rate, while then having the iPhone app display all your stats and segments. Now? Nothing. I can understand that making the Apple Watch app standalone is a big step forward, why on earth did no-one at a company that aims it app for cyclists that many will be using their Apple Watch and iPhone in this way.

    I am really disappointed as the configuration prior to this update was perfect and I was a happy premium subscriber. Now I'm looking to cancel and explore other options because this really is a very short sighted move.

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  • hope you can add a feature that I can just use my Apple Watch built in "Workout app (outdoor run) and then push it to strava. :)

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  • Previous versions allowed me to start a ride on my watch and see stats on my phone. Now my phone just sits there doing nothing. Way to break functionality. There were two reasons I came back to Strava after trying other apps was the heart rate support from the Apple Watch and the dual display I got from the watch and the phone.

    Please return this functionality because without it you are no better than your competitors.

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  • Please bring back the old app. The new app is not at all good for Apple watch 1 users and is a big step backwards sadly.

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