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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  • Strava, you need to act fast.

    Every single comment and criticism on here is true. I guess there's a lot of stressed people in your offices right now, so I sympathise. I also guess that at least one of the developers wasn't happy for this to be released, but ignored. Listen to that developer in future. Promote him/her. Have a word with your PR team – and whoever the hell wrote that iOS update description. Moving on..

    You really need to address the following, in no particular order and without any exclusions.

    • Watch app should be at least as fully functional on AW1 as it was previously. This really should go without saying. I'll end all AW1 stuff there, because realistically it'll never be a good sports tracker without the iPhone present.

    • AW2 app should utilise GPS on AW2. You've done this - kind of - so well done.

    • AW2 GPS co-ords need to be smoothed (or some other algorithm – this is your field of expertise!). Basically, no more zig-zagging around. This is so utterly crucial to your service and you've got it way wrong.

    • AW2 should have the option to mirror the iPhone app OR be self-contained. It should be smart enough to know when Strava is running on the iPhone, when a recording on the iPhone has started, etc.. and react accordingly.

    • AW2 app should show which bluetooth devices, if any, are connected and being recorded.

    • AW2 app should allow for more activity types. At the very least swimming.

    • AW2 app should give audio cues and taptic feedback. Options should be included to change the settings for this.

    • AW2 app should have a better (more detail) post-activity screen. Not necessarily as much as the iPhone app and certainly not as much as the website, but enough to provide food for thought before jumping in the shower. And much faster syncing to Strava.

    • Once the above is done, the AW1/2 apps should have a settings panel on the iPhone (within the Watch app) to control most of it.

    • Auto-pausing needs addressing. Auto-pause and subsequently auto-start.

    • As well as the fixes, there are plenty of 'default' features you could add (laps, intervals, etc.) and a little innovation would be welcome for us paying members who've stuck by you despite this blunder. i.e. give us a tap on the wrist when we're entering a segment we've starred - stuff like that. How about an optional tap every x minutes to remind us to hydrate? Win us over again Strava :)

    I'd also like all records from the faulty GPS to be flagged/wiped from strava.com so nobody has false stats to live up to. Keep the activities but don't allow PRs, KOMs, QOMs, whathaveyou. Of course, users can do this themselves, but many won't.

    More than anything, I'd like more updates from your development team about their plans and progress. We really won't beta-test forever without knowing what our money is paying for.

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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.

    However..

    "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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  • 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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  • Please reverse the last update.  I am now back to using my iPhone for running.  I was so happy with my AW2 before you "improved" Strava".  Now I cannot use it. I would rather be tethered to my iPhone.  I hear there is a work around by downloading the gpx files and uploading them as new activities.  Please share the procedure so we can use it until you fix this mess.  And please acknowledge that you hear us.

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  • I scanned through the last few pages but didn't see any official reply. Sorry if I missed it.

    Does Strava have plans to let the apple watch function as a remote for the app, as it did prior to the stand alone update? 

    I always run when my phone and I loved having the audio cues. Now when I start with my watch I do not get audio and if I start via my phone I don't get status glances on mileage or time. 

    Is it time to switch and cancel my premium account?

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  • As an AW1 user these last few updates has ruined my Strava experience. The app is very unrealiable and without the tethering function I can no longer use the phone as a cycle computer while the watch collects HR data.

    I have already cancelled my premium membership and are looking at other options.

    For other unhappy users I urge you to talk with your wallet and cancel your premium membership

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  • I'm also going to cancel my premium subscription.  I had a 30+ mile ride Sunday that mystery paused at mile 12 on the Apple Watch app.  Since I can't have heart rate data, I really don't need the premium membership benefits.  The final thing is that Strava never admits there is a problem and that they are working to fix it.

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  • Runkeeper went through a period like this too: crippling bugs everywhere in their app, yet they spent all their development efforts on useless junk that nobody used or cared about.

    Many people (myself included) canceled our membership and posted 1-star reviews on every new release. None of their updates got any higher than a 2.5-star average. Their all-time average went from 4.5-star average down to 3.5-star after four months. Finally they pushed an update whose release notes simply stated, “Bug fixes are coming! Thank you for your patience!”

    Magically, Runkeeper is now much more stable. It still has bugs like any other piece of software, of course, but it’s at least usable once again, and they’ve resumed implementing features that actually matter. Guess what? The whole debacle starting with an awful Apple Watch app implementation!

    At this point, I propose that there is nothing more to be gained from posting on this forum. We have made our wishes known, and Strava has responded in no uncertain terms that they have no desire to restore lost functionality.

    I suggest we take our feedback off this forum, and put it where it actually matters: the App Store.

     
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  • This new version of the app might be great for Apple Watch Series 2 users, but from my perspective it isn't great as an Apple Watch Series 1.

    My main gripes are:

    1) When I run it on my watch I no longer get audio announcements. Sounds like maybe that's about to be fixed.

    2) When I bring my arm up to see my pace, time, etc., which I must now do (see #1 above), my auto-pause settings cause it to pause the recording even though I'm still running.

    Any fixes for these issues or suggestions while I wait for a fix?

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  • I am so disappointed with this update as Apple Watch users. As many and many cyclist I am using my iPhone mounted to my bike. With premium account I was using display as cyclometr. Speed, distance and map. I also like the beacon app. My watch was measuring the heart rate. 

    What should I do now? Choose between iPhone or watch? Then you need to miss something.

    Please, listen to your customers and bring some option back. I am not paying for premium acccount anymore and thinking about abondoning the app. Very sad so. 

    Make Strava great again! ;) 

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  • I recently switched to RunKeeper for my run tracking with an apple watch. You should copy what they have done. On the watch they have a setting for Watch Only or Watch + Phone. This allows it to work as it did prior to the last update when you do have your phone with you. Segments, live, and audio are all feature sorely missed. I know the audio is being worked on but it only solves one part of the issue.

    Any thoughts to working this way?

    I canceled my Strava Premium but will be back if the apple watch is fixed properly.

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  • As a road cyclist, AW2 and iPhone 7+ user, I'm also disappointed in the latest Strava updates.

    All I want is accurate distance, speed, mapping coupled with my heart rate. With Strava's current software, I cannot have all those pieces of data together. I can either use my phone for accurate distance, speed, mapping - but no HR. Or use my AW2 and get HR, but distance is inaccurate - and sometimes rides don't upload at all.

    I have 3 use cases and results to share:

    1. Vineyard Bike Tour in Spain: I was excited to have just gotten my AW2 knowing that Strava would work on my watch without my iPhone (phone was in airplane mode since I didn't want to pay international roaming rates). I thought it'd be nice to have our route through the Spanish countryside mapped for posterity. I started the app on my AW2 and rode all day. At the end, I finished and saved the ride on the AW2. When I returned to our AirBnb with wifi, I switched my iPhone 7+ out of airplane mode. The ride never uploaded. No error messages, nothing. It was as if I'd never done the ride. To this day, I don't have that ride data or the map to go along with it.

    2. April 6 Group Road Ride: A 33.5 mile ride is logged only as 32 miles. Strava initiated on AW2.

    3. April 11 Group Road Ride: A 33.5 mile ride is logged only as 28.1 miles. Strava initiated on AW2.

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  • Finally an announcement from Strava on what's happening!

    On the up side, they're listening

    On the down side it won't be as good as it was before???

    I'm done.

    Loving Motifit and am now sticking with it.

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  • Elle,

    - We are also conducting research into the use-cases where cyclists are recording cadence and/or power data along with the heart rate from their apple watch, and/or using the phone as a second display, both of which aren't possible after the recent update. We hope the research will inform how we move forward on this. 

    Seriously, "conducting research". I think this thread alone is all the research you need. Possibly also looking at your sub revenues too.

    Cyclists WITH watches (especially PREMIUM) don't see the benefit in being untethered. Just stop procrastinating and FIX THIS DREADFUL MISTAKE!

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  • I am also very dissapointed with the development of the Watch App. It is nice, that I can use strava now without my phone, but I almost always have my phone with me. And then I have the following problems:

    - The AW2 is inaccurate. Measurements on my phone are roughly 15-20% off.

    - All I want to do is to use the AW2 to measure my heart rate. But I cannot do this?

    - When I record both on my phone and the AW I have two separate recordings. One without heart rate from the phone and one inaccurate from the AW. No way to combine them? 

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  • Like many here, and as a premium user I have been very dissapointed with the way the new strava watch app works with my original Apple Watch (series 1).  I use the app for cycling and  the main problems are 1) new start button is very sluggish to give feedback that it has started (~5 s lag). Leading to multiple pushes.  2) even though the watch is using my iPhone 6's gps, I can't display the ride on the phone until after syncing.  3) while it is a good idea to indicate the app is auto paused, greying out the display is ridiculous since you can no longer read your progress i  sunlight. This alone suggests how little test of the app was done prior to release.  4) more seriously, syncing with the phone has been unreliable and I've lost 2 full rides even though data was logged to the apple health app.  5). Fatal The problem is that the watch battery lasts only ~4 hrs running strava.  If the watch puts itself into power reserve, the rest of the ride is lost.  This was not a problem with the old app since the ride was being recorded on the phone.  You would lose watch feedback and heart rate but the gps track was recorded.  The watch app should at least recognize low power situations and initiate a sync with continued recording on the phone which has much better battery life and can be tethered to a large USB battery.  Unless we can downgrade to the previous app until these problems are fixed,  I'll have to try other apps (cyclometer?) and perhaps I too will dump my premium subscription to Strava.  Bummer.

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  • I am beyond frustrated. I had been running and cycling with the app on my series 2 watch for a couple weeks, and then suddenly the app icon on my phone just started showing an endless spinning wheel. I've tried everything I can think of:

    Uninstalling and reininstalling the app on my phone - and my watch;
    Unpairing and then pairing the watch;
    Updating to OS 10.3.1 for the phone;

    Now no matter what happens, I get to the Set Up Checklist and can only ever get 4 of the 5 items checked off the list. When I tap Motion and Fitness it brings me to my phone's Settings/Allow Strava To Access - and everything is already turned on. THERE IS NOW NO WAY FOR ME TO CHECK THIS SILLY THING OFF THE LIST?!?!

    So today I've spent over 6 hours troubleshooting and still have to run with my cell phone. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me I'm missing something!

    Thanks.

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  • I'll just leave this here.

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  • 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?

     

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  • I would love to leave my phone at home, but need Audio cues like on the IOS app, that is a must! before I use the apple watch app.  I'm waiting patiently for the day!  how long?

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  • It would be nice if users had more than one training face to choose from on the watch when in an activity. I would love a training view showing what heart rate zone I am in at the moment. And possibility to lock heart rate zone.

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  • Thanks Elle..

    Just finished an after work bike ride and used the new Strava AW2 app to track it along with my Garmin 520. Just to be sure .. I left my phone at home. The Strava app tracked perfectly with the Garmin .. here is the Strava activity completed with the watch app.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/875130781 

    I was pleased that the bike auto pause worked very well.  Will give it a try running tomorrow.

     

     

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  • Elle,

    Lots needed on the app. There is hardly no configuration. You can only see the distance in miles. What happened to tenths? You can only see your split times? Where is the current pace and avg. HR doesn't work properly. I'm trying to figure out why it took so long to create 2 screens with less than five bits of info on it? Times take forever to update and it inherently inaccurate. Thanks, but unless something drastically changes I don't see this as a bit useful. Bummed!!

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  • Auto-pause issue.

    Went for a 5k last night and I wanted to keep checking the info on the Apple watch series 2. Everytime I raised my wrist the run would pause! It's a needed feature for me as I run in an area with lots of traffic lights. But the sensitivity needs to be backed off a bit. Thanks!

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  • Can't believe how poor the "new" updated app is. Basics are missing. No audio feedback, no comma between iPhone and watch if you so wanted. Other apps seem to be making decent inroads into their respective AW2 apps. Time to quit my premium membership me thinks 

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  • Hello,

    Thank you for all your hard work in releasing this app. I can only imagine how much time went into it.

    I recently became a Premium member because I find the app greatly useful, motivating and a powerful tool.

    I see it's been commented before, but I would like to echo 2 concerns I have with the new update:

    1. No audio cues while using the AW2 Strava app. Having audio cues on my BT headphone is a huge asset while I run. 

    2. I could use my iPhone for audio cues, but with the new app, the AW2 and iPhone don't sync. So, if I want audio cues from my iPhone I can't see my pace, distance run, time, etc. on my AW2 which is on my rist because they don't sync.

    Now, I don't know what to do or use. Can I uninstall the new update and use the older version until this is fixed?

    Thanks,

    J.

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  • Hello everyone - I've updated my previous comment pinned to the beginning of the discussion:

    Updated February 28th:

            "For those cyclists using the Apple Watch as a second display and HRM while recording from other sensors such as cadence/power - we understand that this use-case is essential for you. We are looking into a solution and will post an update after further research."

    Thanks to everyone who has left their feedback on this topic so far. 

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  • My god - I just realized how bad the new Strava app is. I will go back to NRC - it isn't super accurate (probably the AW2 standalone hardware) but look at this. Strava was over-estimating my distance by a reasonable amount. Come on Strava - this is pathetic!

     

    Strava - A Jittery Mess

    NRC


     

     

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  • This update has made the app totally unusable on my series 1 Apple Watch, stops recording after 3 miles of a 10 mile activity then doesn't sync. No solution from support so I've given up using it and will drop to the free version. Pointless paying for features you cannot use.

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  • I've noted that a few people here have said the new Series 2 Watch app was released as a beta. Well today it has been updated and has officially been launched (I assume with just minor bug fixes and not major feature changes).

    Please add my views to the pile of others above.

    My use case used to be as follows:
    - I run with my phone in my pocket, listen to music and audio updates from Strava.
    - I look at my Series 2 watch to know what pace, time, heart rate, and distance I am currently on.

    Now I can only pick one or the other.

    Until the watch app is re-tethered (even if it is just tethered one way - e.g. start on the phone and it shows on the watch, and not the other way), I have decided to stop using Strava whilst out running and have signed up to Runkeeper as that works as the Strava app used to. This should be your highest priority ticket.

    I won't ask for you to give us the opportunity to reinstall the old version, as doing so would take development time away from you adding to the new app. But this has to be your highest priority in your app teams.

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