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've never been so disappointed.

    Where are my audio cues through my headphones? This is really annoying and I will go back to Nike without these audio cues.

    Also, I used to like having the phone and the watch "synced" so that I could start it on my phone and tap it on my watch later. It Is the only way my original Apple Watch made it through my marathon.

    I'm REALLY disappointed in this app.

    This sums up my disappointment nicely:
    Bernard Fischer
    Tuesday at 19:02
    Does this version change the behavior of the phone app? It seems like it used to be when I'd start a run on the phone, the watch app would spring to life showing my stats. Now the phone and watch apps have nothing to do with each other.

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  • I've come to three conclusions after having tried basically every option out there for the AW2

    1. The Apple Watch Series 2's GPS is limited from a design/hardware perspective versus other high end running watches. I'm not sure if I'd go as far as to say "design flaw" versus cutting corners on hardware design and implementation of GPS signal receiving.

    2. As a result of (1) above, the software needs to make up for the downsides of the hardware. Apple's native Activity app is by far the best through consistent GPS-based measurements. NRC and Runkeeper do a good job, unfortunately Strava is lagging behind significantly.

    3. The best way forward I can see is for a simple streamlined way for Apple Activity data from the watch (all the data) to be easily imported into any 3rd Party app without any kind of workaround. 

    Given Strava have alienated half of Apple Watch users by not allowing a proper link to the phone and the other half, whilst getting Watch GPS, are now using a simplicistic and often faulty version of Strava.... its not looking good. 

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  • I love Strava. I am a Premium user.
    But. I am sorry to say that I hate the new Apple Watch app.

    Because:

    - If using the Apple Watch I don't get spoken feedback (time/distance etc) from my iPhone anymore

    - The beacon function (a BIG reason to be Premium) is worthless. That only works when I use the Strava app on my phone (so not on my watch).

    - The summary (nice to have) with time, pace and small map is gone.

    This one is clearly made for the Apple Watch 2. For me, with my Apple Watch 1, it just fails.

    Please add an option to choose to use either with an Apple Watch 1 or 2.

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  • Elle wrote (on page 1):
    > No Live Segment notifications: "We are considering adding
    > the ability to send Live Segment notifications to the Apple Watch
    > but the feature would still require recording using the mobile device."

    That would be great!!
    But how does it work for the Garmin Forerunner 735XT ? You don't need a mobile device there and that watch has no cellular connectivity.


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  • Elle,

    How is suppose to work the apple watch series 1 with this new version ?

    I understand that it is standalone only for apple watch series 2 but since the new version my watch (series 1) does not synchronise with my iPhone anymore.

    I run using strava on my watch and my iPhone and results are significantly differents ...

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  • Hi Elle,

    It seems the built-in WorkOut app on AW2 is a lot more precise in GPS tracking.

    Why have you decided not to offer a simple import feature from this data to the iPhone Strava app. Most users favour accuracy above branding and just want the actual data recorded and shared in the Strava community.

    MotiFIT seems to take this approach, why not Strava? Is there a specific reason that we're not aware of? Something to do with permission from Apple? Please, enlighten us...

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  • Tested this for the second time today and it's clear the Stop/Resume function simply doesn't work. The watch doesn't record anything after the first stop. This makes it impossible to record a commute, or a ride to the gym and back, for example.

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  • Just had my first run with the new app. Already noted that we need audio feedback. The best example of this that I've used is the Wahoo Fitness app as it lets you customize your announcements and what triggers when you get them, time or distance. On that note the ability to customize data displayed during a ride or run. Again, check out Wahoo's approach on the Elemnt. Let the user choose what goes on the screen or screens. I prefer distance, time and average pace myself, but also need a lap button and lap based fields.

    Would like to see an icon or bigger indicator of what sport mode it's in at the start. Some of us old folks don't see as well as others and there is plenty of space for it, or have it say Start Run or Start Ride as part of the big orange button instead of hiding in the corner. I know to look there now but first time out it wasn't obvious and I started a ride instead of a  run. Kudos (haha) for easily switching sports on the fly. On that note series 2 needs a third sport option of tracking swimming so I can use it for triathlons.

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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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  • @Richard V. 

    There is a feature discussion on the topic of syncing the native Apple Health data to Strava. There are no plans currently, but we welcome more feedback on this request. 

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  • @Salvi Becca The answer is in the Garmin device software. Live segments are downloaded to the Garmin device in advance, and no cell data is needed. 

    @Yannik Cotte - The recording experience will feel the same no matter which version of the apple watch you have. Recording an activity is now experienced on the watch exclusively. Starting the activity from your phone no longer activates the watch. However, with watch models other than the series 2, the watch still uses the GPS from the phone. 

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  • Basically, you broke everything for Apple Watch 1 users to cater to Apple Watch 2 users? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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  • Some thoughts:

    There are 3 kinds of Strava-users:
    1) apple watch 1 and original apple watch users. They surely have a problem now as they don’t have GPS in their watches and can’t use the phone’s GPS.
    Strava should allow tethering as soon as possible.
    2) Apple watch 2 users who wanted a standalone app. Here it is. With a couple of bugs but it’s here.
    3) Users, mainly cyclists that want to take their phone with them and use the watch like it was before, as a mirror and for HF. This also only works with tethering.
    What will never work standalone without the Iphone is Beacon. It need cellular connection.

    Lets precise a couple of things:
    a) Strava cannot import data from Apple’s workout app because Apple doesn’t allow it.
    b) Strava didn’t remove tethering to the Iphone. They didn’t change the code of he old app. They had to programm a complete new app. The old watch-app was nothing more than a mirror of the Iphone like as if you connect a second monitor to your computer.
    Now to be standalone they had to put all the code into the watch; as if you use a second computer next to your old one. The problem is that you cannot programm one app for the watch and a separate one for the phone. You have to put everything in one app as you can only install the watch-app through your Iphone.
    c) Strava didn’t lauch this standalone app officially yet. It’s still a kind of beta and we all are beta-testers.  Read the other, original AW2- thread. Everybody wanted tob e beta-tester. Now we are! We give feedback. Lets see what Strava decides to do with it.

    EDIT: I wrote all this while Elle was answering most of the same questions.

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  • Good thoughts, thanks Salvi. 

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  • @Salvi and Elle

    Ummmmm - sorry, but the comment that it hasn't been launched officially yet is blatantly wrong.  It's been released.  My apps updated automatically and now I have no way to go back.  

    That is not Beta - that's a release, whichever way you look at it.  A beta is a closed or open OPTIONAL update.  

    AS for your comment that 'Everyone' wanted to be a beta tester - I didn't.  Please stop generalising and talking for 'everyone', as if you have read the comments, you can see that if it was indeed a Beta, it's unlikely it would be released in this state following the feedback received....

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  • @Adam Leach I agree. This update is disappointing and frustrating

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  • Hi all,
    Why continuous write "want beacon "?????
    Aw2 hasn't connection, Home strava can do this feature??????

    Why continuos write "data not the same of garmin or Runtastic?
    If you use runkeeper or Nike or what do you prefer, data are even different.

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  • @salvi and Elle

    > a) Strava cannot import data from Apple’s workout app because Apple doesn’t allow it. That is absolutely not true. There are plenty of third-party apps available that can read workout data.

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  • @ Adam
    Of course you're right, it was an official release and it's not beta anymore (btw. that's what I said, Elle never mentioned it).
    But if you read "between the lines:
    - the note to the update was "bux fixes", not one word of the new standalone feature.
    - on social media it's not pushed yet
    - Elle/Strava started this forum-thread by tellng everybody in the other AW2-thred: "Just for you, we've released the updated Apple Watch app early, before officially announcing it. Go ahead and give it a try, and if you have feedback for us please leave it here"

    That's what I meant.
    Greetings!

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  • The first problem to address would be the distance calculation.  I've gone out twice with the new Strava Apple watch app on my Series 2 and am getting much different distance numbers on the Apple Watch compared to my Garmin Vivoactive HR or 620.  Just now the Apple watch recorded 6.8 miles, and the Garmin recorded 6.4 miles.  The total distance really is close to 6.4 miles.  The actual GPS track on the Apple Watch is very wiggly, but has the general trend of the Garmin GPS track.  This 'wiggling' likely throws off the distance calculation and makes the Apple Watch app nearly unusable.  

    I think there is a ton of stuff that can be incorporated into the app.  

    • Laps
    • HRmax%
    • Distance with more significant figures
    • GPS strength indicator
    • HR training zones
    • A way to discard an activity you accidentally started
    • Calories
    • Cadence
    • Suffer Score
    • Average Pace
    • Last Lap Pace
    • Current Lap Pace

    So much potential here!  

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  • @ Adam plus 1 here. I certainly didn't join any beta program, and everything just updated automatically per a normal update cycle.

    The updated comment from Elle doesn't reflect other issues around the lack of a tethering option, including no access to active segments and navigation. There are other use cases than just access to cadence. As a workaround, I tried starting an activity on both the watch and the phone, and then deleting the activity on the phone, but that has now screwed up all my best times and achievements, as Strava "remembers" both activities from an achievement perspective.

    I am really annoyed at Strava for this. I purchased an AW2 and Strava Premium just after xmas for the express purpose of adding heart rate to my rides. I did not particularly care about leaving the phone at home, and I certainly did not expect that the addition of this capability would so badly break my existing Strava experience.

    I'm watching this thread and Strava's response to it with interest. I'm thinking of dumping Strava and asking for my Premium subscription to be refunded.

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  • I can't use my wahoo cadence and speed sensors with AW2. Those sensors were sync with the iPhone and don't have the option to use standalone with AW2. Ok, maybe now it's not possible, but we need the option to use as past app version: start and watch with AW2 and record on the iPhone all parameters ( heart rate, speed, cadence, etc). The option of use standalone is good, but many people always use iPhone and need the record of all parameters. Maybe would select the options or blend the data of both devices ( AW2 and IPhone).
    Thanks in advance,

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  • Just ran for the first time using the gps only Apple Watch updated app. Yes the interface is extremely basic but that's not my major issue. The gps is totally insanely off. I average a 7:40 mile and today it had me at 6:40?!? My boyfriend ran right next to me with his garmin fenix 3 and it accurately had us at a 7:39 mile pace. This is extremely frustrating as it has thrown off all my PRs :( please please fix!!!

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  • Have to agree with the other cyclists that this is a step backwards for those of us that use iWatch 1 to start activity and monitor real time segments on the iPhone. The only options seem to be 1) recording from the iPhone, and missing heart rate data in the activity, or 2) recording from the iWatch and not being able to see real time segments on the iPhone. No point paying for premium membership until this is fixed!

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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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  • Swimming please! Split times, lengths, pace...everything!

    Also:

    - Beacon (while phone attached)

    - Synced realtime display (while phone attached)

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  • My last successful run with the Strava app was 2/21. After I updated the app everything went haywire. I would start the app like usual, and end after the run and it seems like everything is fine but it turns out the app only recorded 0.1miles out of 11 miles, or 0 out of 4 miles. I have had no issues with Strava before but has now become unreliable, good thing I'm using MapMyRun at the same time or else I wouldn't have any record of my runs

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  • @ Stephen
    Please tell me one 3rd-party-app that exports GPS-maps from Apple's workout-app.

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  • @Elle

    I have been using the standalone app since it's release and I have run 9 times since then. It seems quite stable to me with no issues (crashing etc.), including syncing/uploading. My main concern though is that the distance is being overestimated. Has this being acknowledged as an issue?

    S2, Watch OS 3.1.3

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  • As a runner who wanted a standalone app so I could ditch my phone, I'm glad that this has finally been released. However, it definitely needs a lot of work and I understand the frustrations of AW1 users and cyclists. As a running user, count me in on the already mentioned missing features/problems:

    1. Haptic/audio feedback for mile markers

    2. Manual lap ability (useful for interval workouts etc)

    3. Auto-pause is way too sensitive. Every time I raise my wrist to check my pace, it pauses. I'm guessing that this means that auto-pause is bases on the accelerometer not GPS, but even so I'm impressed that I would be able to hold my arm still enough while running that the accelerometer thinks I'm stopped! (I don't want to turn off auto-pause because I have to contend with multiple street crossings and traffic lights on my way to the running path). 

    4. GPS track is pretty wobbly! I haven't tried on a track yet but I'm nervous. Maybe smoothing to known roads and paths would be useful?

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