Record Apple Watch HR with iPhone app

I like the new standalone app for the Apple Watch series 2 but the GPS signal is not as good as the iPhone.

While biking in the mountains the watch loses the signal. 

I would like to use the iPhone as GPS and use the Apple Watch for the heart rate.

Is this possible?

 

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Comments

177 comments
  • Official comment

    Thanks all, we've updated the title of this discussion to try and avoid future confusion with general HR recording issues with the current standalone Apple Watch app. We completely understand the shortcomings with the standalone Apple Watch app when it comes to recording with multiple sensors in addition to heart rate, like cadence and power, and with the preference of viewing the recording from the iPhone app. Know that your feedback is heard, but at this time our top priorities are to fix the Apple Health <> Strava integration and to support indoor Apple Watch recording. We will do our best to consider this feedback at a later time. 

    And thanks especially to CS Tan who helped clear up the recent known issue with the Apple Watch recording heart rate data. If anyone else is recording with the Apple Watch app and not seeing their heart rate, follow the troubleshooting steps mentioned below on page 3 or contact us directly. 

     

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  • I have the same problem. I use my iPhone with a Quad lock mounted on the handle bars to track my ride which is far better than the app on my Apple Watch, but now since the new update I lost all my heart rate data coming from the Watch. 

    Is this problem likely to be fixed in the near future or should I be looking for another device to track my heart rate data.

     

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  • +1 for me.

    Even if it's technically "hard" to do on device (which is not very likely, but I guess it's just a matter of resources and priorities), there's another solution:

    - record a ride on the phone

    - record a ride on the watch

    - have the server combine them into one (taking only the biometric data from the watch ride, for example, and time match that with the data from the phone). 

    I tried this and Strava did detect that the two rides were "simultaneous" by showing that I rode with… myself… for any of those two rides. So it's "just" a matter of combining these into one. 

    Anyway: please?

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  • This is an app killer from the user perspective. The AW heart rate sensor plus gps from the phone HAD made Strava the KILLER APP, but now nothing works like it should. Now, I think Strava is telling me I have to buy a new Apple Watch to be able to continue using their platform because my AW 1 doesn't have GPS. I don't understand this app design from any engineering standpoint. Was there some API that Apple changed that disallows he old mode of operation? The explanation that Elle Anderson is pretty thin, and probably just a PR message. Elle, is this a move to get more users signed up for premium?

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  • Apple watch series 1 owner.......Really bummed I have to pick recording heart beat ( watch app)  or Cadence ( iPhone app)  when I used to get both.     

    Any way to downgrade to the old app where everything worked?  

     

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  • From an engineering standpoint it shouldn't be that hard to get the two stand-alone applications communicating with each other:

    If either the Watch or iPhone already started an activity, the other app communicates with the first one on startup and joins in the activity. If both apps are already open and one starts an activity, the other joins in immediately. You could even show notifications if, e.g. the user doesn't start the other app within 30 seconds or so.

    Besides the obvious benefit of having the activity on the iPhone and Watch screen, communication between the two apps could also be used to improved accuracy: you would have GPS data available from two devices and also data from two accelerometers -- which could be used to improve the auto-pause feature.

     

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  • Elle,

    I really don't understand why you can't do this. AW1 app read my heart rate and recorded on the phone. You've had this working, then you broke it.

    Sam

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  • I have the same problem. I always use iphone to recording and works good on previous Strava app. But now, I can't see any information on watch and get heart rate data....sad.

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  • Yes, this is a bit silly to be quite frank!

    I am new to Strava and cycling. But the first time I recorded from the Apple Watch I expected the watch to talk to the phone somehow and show me that it had started to record, and show the speed and distance, but nothing.

    Next time i tried to start to record from the phone, expecting the heart rate data to be retrieved from the apple watch... but nothing.

    Can't be that hard to have an app on the phone communicate with its own app on the watch... I work as a programmer.

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  • You say it is "not possible to simply use some old code".

    That is FALSE.

     

    You can follow the lead of others use the old code and create a separate watch app for runners.

    Have a great day!

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  • +1 for me

    I have the Apple Watch series 0 and I need to use my iphone as a gps to register my training, but I want to use my apple watch to record my heart rate, I can' believe that it is technically complicated with the APIs available today, other applications like Runtastic do it to perfection, in fact, start recording the route on the iphone and automatically in the watch is launched the application and you are registering the heart rate, there are many users with apple watch series 0 and 1 who need this . Please give us an answer and solution, sure that a professional developer will solve it. We trust in you.

    Thanks.

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  • I also use the Quad Lock on my bike so I like the Strava App visual on the iPhone.  I also have the iWatch series 2 and really would like to track my heart rate in conjunction with the Strava app.  I guess I will simply have to use the Health app on the watch and separately use the Strava App. to track my route, speed, etc.  The problem is this doubles up the workout on the watch and iPhone as it looks like you have worked out twice, since the stats other than heart rate are linked.

    Makes sense to sure this up.

     

    Ronnie 

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  • I'm with Fred! Give us back the AW1 app and write an AW2 app for runners only.

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  • I just started the premium trial specifically so I could use my Apple Watch 2 to record heart rate during my rides. I prefer to record the ride from my phone, because I have it mounted on my handlebars. Imagine my surprise when I looked for heart rate data, only to have Strava try to sell me another heart rate monitor (!?!?!).

    The "this is hard" excuse is weak. I've been using Nike+ Run Club for a few months to track my running, and it tracks heart rate from my watch when I'm recording a run from my iPhone with no problems.

    You've lost a potential Premium customer - I'm going to go look for a better cycling app now.

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  • Still no updates from Strava on this? Clearly there's a lot of demand, as evidenced by the 6 pages of posts. Personally, I'd love a frank comment from Strava explaining why this isn't a priority.

    5 mins of Googling shows that HealthKit (the Apple Health SDK) is able to tap into HR on the iphone.

    https://developer.apple.com/documentation/healthkit/hksamplequery

    --> Using args:

    https://developer.apple.com/documentation/healthkit/hkquantitytypeidentifier/1615138-heartrate

    Digging further there's both APIs for async push queries as well as on demand queries... Basically, any way that Strava for iOS would want to get heart rate data is supported. I can't imagine a technical limitation here (besides something like Strava using an old version of the API).

    Since the technical fix seems trivial (lets say one engineer: 1 day scope, 2 days coding, 2 days review, 1 day push to prod), there must be either a higher level strategy decision for not including this (heart rate sensor partners don't want it included), or Strava just doesn't listen to user feedback (aka, the user is wrong mentality).

    As per others here, I'll never give up my iphone as my cycling head unit. Which makes the heart rate monitor on my wrist, and in turn the premium Strava services, completely useless :-(

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  • I have been in contact with support and getting the same message. For this reason I cancelled my premium subscription and now use Cyclemeter which IS capable of reading from the watch and uploading from my power meter for wattage, and I can see the data simultaneously on both devices (although admittedly the wealth of data may cause me to crash). Ironically I can even upload this into Strava and still see segments, PR's, etc. What I can NOT do is see my power meter data or a suffer score in my basic subscription. Anyone know if I paid Strava again for their handicapped app if I would be able to see my suffer score and power meter data if it was originally recorded with Cyclemeter and then synced with Strava? Sad that his little company has figured it out and Strava claims it is too hard...

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  • for the people (who ended up here due to the google search result) trying to get the watch app to record HR (as a standalone app, not the phone+watch approach as suggested by the thread), here is the fix:

    1. Uninstall and reinstall both watch and phone strava app (remember to keep the data)

    2. Pair the watch app to the phone via the phone app. Authorise location, notification, legal disclaimer, motion & fitness. DO NOT AUTHORISE THE HEALTH PERMISSION (the last one in the list)

    3. Start the watch app, start the run / ride recording. Tap on the greyed out HR icon, the watch will display a message asking to enable HEALTH permission. Check your phone, follow the setting prompt and complete the HEALTH permission link.

    these steps fixed up my watch app and it’s now recording my HR for both run / ride. I am using Apple Watch 3 non LTE (watchOS 4.2) and IPhone X (ios 11.2.1)

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  • Just got a spam email from Strava advertising “All the ways your Apple Watch works with Strava”. Was excited to see that they finally fixed their problem of having the watch talk to the iPhone app, but NOPE. They should have called it “All the ways out Apple Watch App doesn’t communicate with our Strava App”. I’m now going to cancel my Premium account with Strava. Any suggestions on apps that care about what the users want?

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  • I've stopped my Strava Premium subscription because of this issue.

    ... and just to be clear. This used to work, before the Apple Watch 2, the iphone and watch worked together. Strava do have the skills to fix this, they just chose to implement a running friendly app over a cycling friendly app!!!

    I no longer care if this gets fixed in the future, I do not intend to pay for Strava again!

    Have fun y'all

    Sam

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  • Hallo Strava Community, hello Team. Like the persons before, i really hope to see this necessary feature very soon. Please fix it, thanks in advance.

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  • Please. I know it’s possible. Running apps do it. Just get on this. TBH I don’t really care whether I hit start on my phone or on my watch, what I want is the ride computer screen on my handlebar mounted phone while recording a ride that includes both heart rate data from my AppleWatch series 1 and GPS from my phone. It’s posisble. Nike+ does it. Runkeeper does it. Runtastic does it (as mentioned above) - there’s no reason Strava can’t do it.

    Strava is awesome all around, and I’d love Summit; but their focus is just so far off base that I can’t bring myself to actually do so. “Fly bys”? Personal heat maps? These are cute, fun gimmicks, sure. But the idea that you’re dorectign your development power into those when you have core functionality missing from your platform, functionality that so many competitors have, it just ridiculous. FIRST you need to build the house, THEN you can worry about decorating it. I’m ready to pay you $60 a year for thag well decorated house. I just wish you had one to offer me.

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  • It appears that MapMyRun app does what we are requesting.  My wife starts the app on her phone, it launches the iPhone app, and she sees workout details synced on both screens, including heart rate.  It's possible.  Will test their MapMyRide app for similar functionality.  My preference would be stay Strava, but I want to cycle with my larger iPhone screen (easier to see without my reading glasses on) but capture hr from the watch.  

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  • In a slightly separate use case, cyclist like myself who use a Garmin head unit with power meter would like HR data as well, however I hate wearing a heart rate strap.. would be great if I could merge my watch recording and Garmin data so I have power and HR in one file (so basically using the watch as a HR monitor only).. 

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  • Strava:

     

    As has been asked above - 

     

    Why can't you just release a separate app that works like the old version and allows HR data to be used from the phone app live?  It used to do it.

    Release a separate app or provide a real reason why that isn't possible.

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  • Will the Apple Watch ever work with Strava to record heart rate? We are at 18 months now where this has not worked. Can we get an official update on when we can use Strava on the phone attached to our bikes to see heart rate and speed without having to look at our watches to see the data while the phone on our handle bar just sits there doing nothing. It’s just a little hard on a downhill ride at 30 miles and hour to take my hand of the handlebars to see how fast I am going. Would love to renew my premium membership and give you guys money...

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  • +1
    I want to use the iPhone as cycle computer and have heart rate too. We know it's possible, Strava just has to make a proper update.

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  • This is getting REALLY annoying, I started my run from my iPhone with my Apple Watch connected (I did not start the watch app). I had GPS signal acquired and got the voice confirmation that it had paused. I put my phone in my shorts pocket (as I always do) and started my run. I got the voice confirmation that the activity was resumed.

    At 1.6km I got the voice notification, current distance 0.5km (1.1km missing) time 7.56 mins (correct) current split pace 16.14 /km (I can walk faster than that backwards)

    I stop my activity https://www.strava.com/activities/1125242629

    Switch off my watch and start a new activity https://www.strava.com/activities/1125294198 everything is tracked perfectly

    I REDO the first section again without watch https://www.strava.com/activities/1125314313 it tracks it perfectly

    So the bottom line is you cannot even have your Apple connected to your phone let alone use it ass the interface for the app. 

    @strava. You broke a perfectly good app.

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  • The original post was 7 months ago and the “Official comment” this month is “we hear you but don’t care right now”?! Really? I am new to cycling and Strava and just upgraded today in hopes of trying out premium for the month and getting to see the work I’m putting in, INCLUDING HR...only to wish I had found this post first.

    So disappointed in Strava’s lack of concern and priorities to make an app that works great on our devices. Looks like I’m on the hunt for a better cycling app! 🙄

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  • I also found this post whilst trying to work out why I can get HR but only if I start the recording from my Watch, when what I want to do is start the recording from my phone (so I can see speed/distance/segments whilst cycling), but also for my HR to be recorded.

    Please prioritise this fix.

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  • That’s a very disappointing comment from Strava. I’ve cancelled my subscription.

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