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

20

Comments

901 comments
  • Hi Elle,

    I was really looking forward to this update, as I love the Strava community, and used to sync my Garmin for running constantly. I bought the apple watch with the expectation that I could sync with Strava. I've been using the new GPS enabled watch app for the last few days and it is disappointing. The lack of km/split announcement (the Apple app buzzes the wrist on each km), the hard to read and wildly inaccurate pace display, the lack of configuration options for he display (check out the Apple app for easy to read, use of colours etc), the greyed out and buggy display when auto pause is turned on, and the inaccuracy of the app (apparently I ran a 3:56/KM on Saturday, which is hilarious). I'm hoping for some major improvements over the next month or so, otherwise I'll be turning off Strava Premium again.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Elle,

    first of all thanks for supporting the AW 2 internal GPS! I tried it today on a half marathon and it worked well.

    The only thing which was not all that good was the accuracy. I measured 27km as other runners got about 21-22 km (which was expected).

    You can see the comparison at the fly-by of https://www.strava.com/activities/880909499

    As you can see there, my track has lot of jitter in it. Maybe this is the best what AW can deliver. But I'm curious if you guys could do some correction in software, e.g. applying a low pass filter on the coords.

    br,

    Erik

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I use the Strava iOS app on my iPhone and Apple Watch. I prefer using the Strava over the native running app on the Apple Watch. The look of the Apple Watch feature has changed recently; the Start/Resume/Finish is easier to see and use.

    I have some issues with the Settings screen. The basic problem is that since you "swipe" to move from the Settings screen to the Start screen, it is very EASY to accidentally change some of the settings when you are performing this swipe procedure. If I were designing this feature, I would display the Settings screen only when you Force Touch on the main Start Screen, since changing any of these settings would not be occurring when you are on a run. 

    If you are not going to utilize Force Touch to display the Settings, I would suggest that you place to the "right" of Start screen (i.e., using a left swipe, rather than the current location on the "left" of the Start screen. The reason for that is it's too easy to "right swipe" during a run and instead of landing on the Resume/Finish screen, you go past it to the Settings screen.

    Unrelated to the Watch app, I wish you also had a "Walking" feature that users could use either if they only walk or if they alternate running and walking for different workouts. If you add a "Walking" feature, it would also be nice to have the ability to use an "auto-pause" capability that would work during a walk (As you know the Running auto-pause canNOT detect "starting" if you are starting at a walking pace.

    Let me know if you need more information...

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • So I just spent the last half hour reading all the comments, and there is overwhelming evidence that people, particularly cyclists, are not happy with the separation of the watch and phone apps. This needs to get off the road map and into development ASAP. The use cases have been pretty well documented in the comments.

    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."

    8
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm really disappointed by the updated official comment on Feb. 25th. Is it really "significant engineering lift" when the previous version of the app already had the functionality cycling users are requesting? Does anyone at Strava cycle and use the apps?

    I've now stopped using all Strava apps in favor of Cyclemeter and am debating canceling Strava Premium.  Cyclemeter even shows heart rate data from the AW on the phone next to power and anything else you want. Strava never did that, it was heart rate on watch, power/cadence on phone: that was the deal and I tolerated it, but now I can't even do that.  If I cancel I lose web access to analyze the data that Cyclemeter will automatically upload to Strava, but now I feel compelled to do so on principal alone. Strava.com isn't the only player in the space for analysis...

    9
    Comment actions Permalink
  • 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.

    6
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Disappointed.

    We need the feature the same as the iPhone where it tells you your average pace for the WHOLE RUN, not your current pace as this is impossible to maintain.

    Once this is done i'll be able to go running with just my watch, eventually!

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Just upgraded the Cyclemeter app- may have to cancel my premium strava membership. So disappointed.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

  • Another comparison: Strava vs. Runtastic.
    It should be 5.0km.

     

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I often experience Strava has been aborted when out running with my Apple Watch during cold nights wearing gloves. Please add a forced touch feature to lock the screen......just the way Apple's health app does.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • 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.

    6
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Need voice prompts brought back. I use this as guidance and support whilst running....

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Went for my second run with the standalone Strava app on AW2..... complete disaster. Pace was off, distance was completely wrong. So disappointed. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • 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!

    6
    Comment actions Permalink
  • really disappointed the new version is missing the live audio-able updates - was a real motivator! I run with my phone anyway as listening to music, so should the live audio still not work?? got a race in a few weeks and without this thinking of switching to another app - Sad times :-(

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • The one and only way the new app should have been implemented was like this:

    Take the old app, and give it the ability to use the Watch’s GPS if available. That’s it. That’s how Runkeeper did it, hardly took any time at all, and everyone’s happy.

     

    What Strava did was completely tear down the old app, remove all existing features, and replace them with the ability to use the Watch’s GPS.

    Saying that adding the old functionality back in represents a significant engineering challenge, having no plans to support paid premium features, and all the rest of that nonsense is absolutely unacceptable. There is nothing challenging at all about adding Watch-GPS to your old app.

    It doesn’t matter what Apple’s plans for Series 3 are. I’m guessing Elle was referring to possible LTE connectivity, etc. You could still keep the old app, and build support for Series 3 features. That way you retain fallbacks for non-Series 3 owners, or for users with different needs.

    As it is, Strava is developing for owners of the latest and greatest only. Not only that, they’re strictly developing for those among that narrow group who absolutely do not want to use their phone.

    You must realize that you are currently targeting an insignificant segment of your user base, and alienating everyone else with the direction you’re choosing.

    9
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I ran a half marathon on Saturday with just my watch and no phone. It tracked it as 13.8 miles. It's a shame because I would hve loved to see what my true splits were for this race. After three runs it seems like it always tracks the run longer than it actually is. I will continue to test it out but I may go back to the native apple workout app if it continues to be so far off.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi guys, I completely agree with most of you. The new App is a complete failure. I just run a Half Marathon and it gave me 23,4 kms instead of 21,1Kms, cheating me all along the race with the pace I was reaching. As you can imagine I got angry. I'd just want to say to whom is interested that as a  runner  I have already used several times Runkeeper and NCR (Nike) Apps as a stand-alone AW2. I have to say that both are very consistent and above all pretty precise. I've run known distance circuits and the GPS accuracy was absolutely brilliant in both apps. But IMHO Runkeeper is a little better in the following features:

    - RK gives you more info in the AW screen than NRC and is also more customizable.

    - RK gives you info about the AVG Pace, absolutely fundamental for me. NRC just the current Pace.

    - RK lets you practice interval trainings, in a very basic way, and without alerts, but it gives you the chance to look at the intervals in a third screen with every 'split' you designated previosly.

    - What NRC gives you that RK don't, is a sound and a litlle haptic alert when you get a Kilometer or half Km.

    At the end of the workout, I pass all the info to Strava through RunGap. It's a pitty, but Strava has obligued me not to use its App.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Use Cyclemeter instead!

    I read @Anthony Bush's comment and gave Cyclemeter a go. It restores the tethered functionality and adds more features with a superior interface. Yes, there's a one-time $10 fee to get the Elite features (including the coveted ability to bidirectionally tether watch and phone), but no recurring subscription. It will upload your data, including heartrate (from watch), GPS (from phone), cadence/etc. (from devices) to Strava automatically.

    I have my history with Strava, so I imagine I'll keep using it for stats. But for recording and real-time views, ditching the justifiably-maligned Strava app seems to be the way to go for cyclists. No, I'm not a shill for Cyclemeter - I hadn't even heard of it before today.

    4
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Ian Blackburn I think you are correct. I believe Strava has gotten complacent just like all app devs get when they are raking in millions on subscriptions. Thing is, if you pay up front it doesn't matter if you cancel. They got you locked in for at least another year and they know it. This gives them time to develop something better and re-coop the loss from the cancelled memberships that expire earlier. 

     

    How about some data point smoothing. I know Apple way over-does this, but there is no way I'm all over the place like this. And what's up with the start point? I think if you can track elevation based on the maps (cause AW2 doesn't track elev, but Strava showed it), then you could smooth points to known roads.

     




    -1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi,

    i've tested the app a few times too, without my phone. Here are my points:

    • GPS seems to be very bad. I was out for running (4 times). Everytime I didn't have any gps connection at my starting point. After running a few minutes (5-8min) I got it. But thats really unacceptable. With runkeeper and nike it works way better. The first 3 times, my iphone was in my car. So at the beginning I had a short connection to my phone.
    • Today, the 4th time, I started without a connection to my phone (phone was in flight mode). Result was unusable:


      Everything isn't correct. I'm a premium customer and I hope there will be a fix soon.

    Regards
    Maurice

    -1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • First run with AW2 and everything recorded correctly! Time and distance correct so happy there! Auto pause is a little too sensitive as it came on every time I raised my wrist to check distance!
    For everyone's info I started the app on phone while walking out of flat, once I got to my start point I then pressed start! Had dodgy recorded unlike Runkeeper which always ruins my first mile!

    I think the following improvements could be helpful
    Customisable screen
    Switch to choose to use phone gps or not !
    Turn down sensitivity of auto pause

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Really disappointed with the new Strava app for the Apple Watch - I haven't wanted to run or ride without my phone. I haven't wanted to run without audio cues. I liked the fact that the phone and watch used to be in sync. How can I go back to the old app which was perfectly fine? 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I have tested the AW2 app in stand-alone mode for the first time last Friday.

    On my regular round of 8.2 kilometer, I noticed that the distance was off by 200 meters. Strava actually recorded 8.4 kilometer. If the weather clears up this week, I will go for another run to see if this is a consistent issue.

    I had the auto-pause function on (perhaps this caused the drift), will test next time without it.

    I do miss the audio cues, but I've understood that this is still work in progress.

    Also, what I would like to have (but this also applies to the regular phone app), is an option to do interval runs, either by fixed distances (say, 1 km) or time (5 mins run, 2 mins walk), with the app giving you audible announcements in between. Interval running is the best way to quickly make progress in your laps, so this feature would be much-appreciated.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • When is the next roll out?  data not getting uploading to strava app from watch but sync to iHealth?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • 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!

    6
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Since the 5.13.0 update, activities started on my Apple Watch (series 1) do not start on my iPhone. The update release notes simply say "bug fixes", when in actual fact you have completely redesigned the Apple Watch app and in the process, broken it.

    Before this update, I would start recording my run on my Apple Watch, which would automatically start recording on my phone. This means that I would get audio cues to my headphones from my phone and be able to glance at my watch for updates. I could also look at my phone for live segments and more detailed data, if I needed to. I could pause and restart the run from either my watch or my phone.

    After the update, If I start the activity on my Apple watch, it does not start on my phone. So I do not get audio cues to my headphones or live segments and activity data displayed on the phone (it just behaves like it's not recording).
    But If I start the activity on my phone no heart rate data is recorded and no information is displayed on my watch.

    This is crazy. It's a massive step backwards and have rendered my Apple Watch useless.

    Can you fix this so I can get audio cues AND record heart rate data like I did before the update?

    An option to keep the series 1 Apple Watch app teathered to the iPhone app is essential!

    4
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Ah I am not enjoying this update at all. AW doesn't work together with the phone app - it's either one or another. The whole idea of having Strava on the watch was to have a "handy dispaly" of what is going on on the phone app - where tons of functions are available that are not on the AW app. And now phone App doesn't show my HR from my chest strap (which has way more precise reading than AW HR) just displaying 0 where the reading would be. I cannot see anything on the watch and have to take out my phone out again (the whole purpose of having AW app is lost If I choose to use a phone app too, which I do). Even notifications from the phone are not showing anymore (about kilometres completed) - completely zero communication :-( Very bad. I will have stop using AW Strava until this is fixed, which is really sad, as I liked having a handy display.

    Also managing currentAW app is rather frustrating - today I was trying to use it and stop/start/save were very very unresponsive, no option to discard. With HR function on the phone app somehow compromised I am feeling very frustrated and disappointed and I hope the fixes will be issued very very quickly.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Today I tried out MotiFIT and in my opinion it's the best running app for the Series 2 (and also Series 1 and 0) Watch. You can track with your iPhone or just with the built-in GPS of the Series 2.

    There are also some features like:
    - voice feedback (iPhone AND Watch)
    - haptic feedback
    - heart rate zones and alerts
    - customizable metrics on the Watch
    - tcx export (so I can still use Strava and have the Strava community)
    - pace including average pace

    to name just a few.

    For workout tracking I will use MotiFIT for now.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Here's my first real run with the Strava AW2 app.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/880959476

    From a distance it doesn't look that bad but once you zoom in you'll realise the track is all over the place when I obviously ran straight along the roads involved without criss-crossing all over the place.  Considering it doesn't seem anywhere near as bad with other apps (eg Runkeeper/Nike Run Club), I can only conclude that there is an issue with the app.  Yes, GPS on these wrist based devices isn't always of stellar quality, but this seems particularly bad.  Also, note the distance is allegedly 8.2, but when I carefully measure this run with Google Maps it's only 7.66KM, that's a big difference. 

    Also, I'm not a cyclist so the splitting off of the app into it's own entity doesn't really bother me but I would add my voice to those here who say it's bad, particularly for those with an AW1 or AW0.  I can kind of understand why it was done, but it certainly seems you are alienating a big section of your userbase.  I simply can't believe Strava released this app in it's current state, it's certainly very disappointing.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

New post