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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  • 正式評論

    Recent updates: 

    - You can now record three additional activity types on the Strava app for Apple Watch: Indoor Runs, Hikes and Outdoor Walks.

    - We have plans to re-do the integration with the Apple Health app in 2018. This would fix the issue with duplicate data syncing from Strava to Health and enable activities such as swims to sync from Health to Strava. Stay tuned! 

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  • 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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  • For me, the independent app is a complete fail!

    previously, I would start my ride with my Apple watch (version 1) and would be able to view all the data live on my iPhone which is mounted on my handlebars. At the end of the ride I would be able to view my HEART RATE, speed, power and CADENCE (from an external sensor) in the ride analysis.

    now the apps are separate and I am forced to either use my Apple Watch and have NO live data visible on my iPhone as I ride and NO cadence data from my external sensor or I use my iPhone and have NO heart rate data at all!!

     

    On a different note, I experience problems with strava actually detecting my heart rate on the Apple Watch! It can take up to 20 MINUTES sometimes! I can view my heart rate data on the Health app which it constantly collects throughout the day but when I use Strava there is a massive gap between its last reading (before starting Strava) and whenever Strava decided it wants take a reading!

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  • So How I can choose if I want to use the Apple Watch GPS or the iPhone GPS? Please add this option.

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  • A few requests:

    1) Please read the stride rate (running cadence) from both the Apple Watch and iPhone (using the motion coprocessor).

     

    2) Please allow Premium users to send beacons from the Watch.

     

    3) Please keep querying GPS location as long as the app remains open, even before starting an activity. Using the Watch app, I often have to crop the start of my activity, which may be half a mile away.

     

    4) Give us the option to use the GPS from the Apple Watch Series 2 exclusively, even if we’re carrying our iPhone.

    The reason is some of us carry our phones in a belt/pouch/pocket, with things like magnets/clothing/our body creating interference with reception. The Watch, being on the wrist, has a much more reliable connection to the satellites. Also, I’d like to keep carrying my iPhone for the larger music library and audio cues.

    Apple Watch Series 2 has a large-enough battery that, starting from full, it can easily accommodate a half-marathon using its builtin GPS. You could even add a fallback so that if the battery drops below eg. 20%, it will switch over to the iPhone’s GPS.

     

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  • It's nice to have a standalone app for the Apple Watch but separating the watch app and the iPhone app to the point that they don't communicate with each other is extremely annoying and not user friendly.

    I used to launch the app on my watch, and take off. I could listen to podcast/music and get my audio cues. Now...if I launch the app from my watch, it doesn't give me any notifications, no audio cues, etc because my headphones are paired with my phone. If my phone is with me, why doesn't the app communicate to my phone and give me the audio cues? Why do I have to launch the app from my phone now to get this feature.

    A good idea and a good direction but could use some improvements to implementation and more options.

    Thanks!

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  • I agree with Nathan Morey,

    It removes the ability to link the HR data from my apple watch 2 and the live information i see on the iphone app. which means I don't need premium at all because If I want Live segments etc, I don't have Heart rate. or visa versa

    I like the idea of not needing the phone, especially for running, but for cycling it would be essential to be able to connect HR and the live dashboard on the phone. 

    Cyclometer has a live HR shown from Apple watch that updates instantly, I don't know why this isn't the case for Strava

    please change

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  • ***I'm very disappointed with this update.****

    I use strava for riding. I use my Apple Watch for hr and my iPhone for my bike computer (ie phone mounted to bike on quad lock case) I used to start my ride on my watch and then open strava on my phone to watch speed, segments, time, routes etc.

    I don't want to have to go and buy a new heart rate monitor when I have a perfectly good one on my wrist all of the time!

    I purchased the new watch because the last one was so reliable and I thought if I ever get really keen and want to run I will be able to record the run on strava on my watch... also because if my phone has problems I can still record rides with the watch.

    Super super super disappointed.

    Great for runners I'm sure but please make it work with the iPhone again ASAP.

    24
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  • SUMMARY: This update breaks functionality and makes me sad, especially as a premium user as I now can not analyze data I upgraded for.

    WHY: I have Apple Watch series 1, but I suspect series 2 would also have this problem: I always used it like this:

    1. Mount iPhone to the bike (or put in bag/back pocket, etc.), which is connected to power, cadence, etc. (but not heart rate) & open strava (but don't start it).

    2. Open Strava on AW and start a ride.

    The behavior was that both the AW and the phone would start recording, with the AW tracking heart rate and the phone tracking power, cadence, (& GPS). When saving the ride at the end (from either AW or iPhone), all data was uploaded together (heart rate, power, cadence, etc.)

    Instead, it seems to be broken. I either have to start a ride on the AW and only get heart rate data (defeating the purpose of a power meter, etc.), or start it only on the iPhone, defeating the purpose of the AW and get no heart rate data. Since this update is for the AW, defeating the purpose of the AW was probably not the goal.

    WORKAROUNDS? NOPE: I tried starting the AW and iPhone independently, but instead I got two separate rides that say I rode "with one other." The data isn't linked, and I'll have to destroy one set so as not to post duplicate miles :(

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  • Up until the update I was able to use a Bluetooth cadence tracker paired with my phone, and the Apple Watch to track heart rate. Now that the apps no longer talk to each other I have to choose between using my phone and having the cadence data but no heart rate, or the watch and have heart rate but no cadence data. I think it's great that the watch app can work as a stand alone, but can it have the ability to work with the phone, or to connect to Bluetooth sensors?

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  • Ok. I've been looking forward to this and I know my expectations may be a bit high, but I figured the 3 month timeline was due to perfectionism from a company that makes a great product.

    So far, I am disappointed with this product.

    1. There is no metric customization (although the standard one is not bad)
    2. No mile/km notifications/Taptic (this one really bites! I can't do 1/2 mile interval training. Monitor splits during races. Looking at my wrist every 30 sec is not a reasonable option)
    3. No option of still using your phone for gps (I'm doing a 50k in two weeks that I would like to track. I was going to use my phone b/c of battery...but now I have to choose)
    4. No swimming option (tri season this spring!)
    5. Post run summary is so basic. Not even average pace. (I really liked the old one!)

    Outside of these options. The GPS did seem to work well and there was a quick phone sync and upload. The basics are there, but the end product sets the entire Strava ecosystem back.

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  • Elle,

    With the previous version I can start a ride in one of my devices (IPhone or Apple Watch) and was mirrored in the other. With this version when I finished my ride I have two separates rides. I want to be able to see my heart rate in my watch and my cadence & speed in my phone.  

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  • One thing I would find useful for the app that I didnt notice was that, there is no notification of when you hit your automatic split (i.e. 1 mile) I would find it helpful if the watch would notify when that happens like when the Nike+ app voiceover tells you how far you have run. 

    17
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  • I liked it better before, when I'd start Strava on the iphone, pop it in my backpack for my

    commute, but I could still see my stats on the watch series 1.  or, start from the watch, then

    stop from either the phone or watch.  Now, these are separate and if I start from one I have

    to stop from the same....else I get duplicate activities.   

     

    Also no way to discard an entry on the watch, after you start it.  You have to finish, save,

    then go to the iphone to edit and delete.

     

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  • Please please please put the watch and phone apps back in communication.  The watch needs the phone more than you allow for now.  The watch would provide audio queues when listening to music through headphones and you get distance and pace alerts on the watch.  Why would you take this away from us?  If not returned, will need to look elsewhere.  

    16
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  • Hi

    So you've updated Strava Watch app for the Apple Watch 2 - unfortunately this has broken Version 1 functionality. In the past I could start my run on my phone after confirming GPS acquisition, then the app on the watch would automatically show the progress of the run, speed, distance, HR etc.

    Since the update, if I start activity on my phone, all I ever see on the watch app is the big START button. If you hit that then it  duplicates the recording. Really unhappy with this and will seriously be reconsidering my premium subscription. The major issue with using the watch primarily is that sometimes it just doesn't link to the phone - using the phone as the primary device was much more useable in my scenario.....

     It would appear that I am not alone in unhappiness with this update - please roll back for those of us who still use first gen AW.... 

    15
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  • How do I get back the old functionality of starting on my phone and viewing on the watch?

    Now if I start on the phone, the only option I have on the watch is to start another one.  If a session is started on either the phone or watch, the other device should be able to pick up the same session.

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  • as mentioned before, the app is now useless to me on original watch series, so I am no longer using it, I have paid for another year on cyclometer (which I had stopped using), a far superior app, with automatic uploading to Strava. Your comment

    "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.""

    This Elle says it all, complete lack of understanding on how you've destroyed an app for a lot of users, and no regards to fixing it, so glad I didn't pay for premium as I'd now be asking for a refund.

    unhappy camper....

    12
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  • Just completed a running workout with the updated app and an Apple Watch Series 2. Very pleased that Strava finally supports the watch's built-in GPS.
    However, I'm a bit disappointed that there doesn't appear to be a Lap functionality and if there is, the means of activating it are not obvious. Also, an alert every mile- like a tap from the Taptic Engine- would be nice. Finally, the summary of the workout is quite lacking. All that I found available for my run was the total time and distance- avg. heart rate and pace at a minimum should be available after you "finish" a workout.
    I did not notice any of the issues with initial GPS lock that other users have mentioned.

    11
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  • As a developer myself, I think I can appreciate how much effort went into this release. Developing for the Apple Watch is challenging, and kudos to Strava for the (re-)launch of the app. To be honest, though, the current version is very underwhelming. It doesn't match the features of other 3rd party apps (NRC, Runkeeper), and the usability and user experience don't come close to the native Workouts app.

    Frankly, the only reason I can imagine that anyone would use the app is the ease of uploading workouts to Strava. That's a big benefit, and I'm sure lots of people will suffer through the limited functionality and poor user interface to get it. But "suffer" is a deliberate choice on my part, and I think the result will be a lot of people grudgingly using the app and continually complaining about its shortcomings.

    There are hints in the press statements that Strava has plans to build on this (re-)release, but I really wonder how strong that commitment is. Based on what we've seen so far, Strava certainly isn't matching Nike or Runkeeper. Maybe it's something that Strava is already pursuing, but I think a better use of Strava resources would be working with Apple to get access to the GPS tracks from the native Workouts app. Everything else is available through HealthKit. From a user standpoint, that would be the best of all worlds. Use the native Workouts app on the watch to record workouts, and then have the Strava iPhone app upload the complete data.

    Of course this would require some level of cooperation between Strava and Apple (unless Apple already has plans to make the GPS data available in a future iOS release; something which I actually think is inevitable.) And maybe that's simply not possible given whatever relationship exists between Apple and Nike. But as a customer/user of both the Apple Watch and Strava, it's certainly what would make me happiest.

    (To be fair, I recognize that the native Workouts app isn't perfect. It lacks more advanced features such as intervals. Perhaps there is a market for an advanced watch app for more "serious" athletes. But looking at the current set of products from Strava, Nike, Runkeeper, etc. I have absolutely no confidence that any of those vendors can create a truly usable app for that market.)

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  • Thanks Elle, for letting us know about the release. I was a beta tester,(which I appreciated!) and assume the new release is the same as the released version. 

    That being said, the first mile of every beta version that I tested consistently gave me a faster pace than I ran (I ran with a Garmin watch on the other arm) EVERY single time. Because of this and possibly the way that Strava calculates moving time, I have PR's every time I run, which I know is not accurate.

    I also notice that the auto pause is slow to reactivate after stopping. I think you have to run, not walk to get it to kick back in. 

    I know there are several features that are not quite available yet like mile marker notifications. I appreciate Strava's hard work on the app and look forward to the improvements that are to come.

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  • Thanks Elle, Watch complication support would be nice. Going for a longish run tomorrow and will get back with my initial thoughts.

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  • Lack of nice shortcut on the clock face (maybe custom STRAVA clock face, its possible?)... App testing in progress... 

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  • Went for a ride today with the updated Apple watch app. After saving the activity I was told to open ny iPhone to sync it. But it is still not visible on my phone.

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  • I need to echo what Mark Cameron, Nathan Morey and others said - I still have the original Apple Watch, and the separation between the watch app and the phone app is a real step backward. I now have to choose between heart rate data (requiring a start on the watch) and several features only supported by the phone app (audio cues, seeing your intended route on the map, setting a name as you save it, picking what shoe you wore as you save it).  

    It seems like the workaround is to start the run using the app on the phone, THEN also hit the start button on the watch in order to get it to show me the running stats while I'm running.  But I still don't get heart rate data in this case.

    I get why you separated the two apps for Apple Watch Series 2 users and use without a phone, but you have significantly damaged the user experience for the rest of us.

    10
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  • Dear Strava,

    Could you please make the previous version of the iOS app available, perhaps through the same method you release beta versions to the community? From your summary comments on this thread, it seems as if you either don't grasp the impact of this change on cyclists or you just don't find it very compelling.

    You state that it's challenging to restore the basic tethering feature that was there on every release up until Feb 21, and maybe there is a solid technical reason behind that. But I'd be happy to use the pre-Feb 21 version until you overcome that challenge.

    Between this and your recent unceremonious drop of Wahoo RFLKT support, you keep pushing me away from Strava as a cyclist.

    10
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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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  • Hi @Elle, it looks like it's been well over a week since you've addressed this group, and we're all still wondering if Strava is planning to solve this tethering problem, or if we just need to look for a different app?  Can you please update us on the team's plans?  Is this still off the roadmap because of the 'significant engineering lift' to bring back what the team deleted?  Is there any hope for just bringing the old app back as a 'classic' version?  Just wondering if I should keep tracking this forum or start looking for alternatives...

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  • To the management team at Strava, I can understand that it will be difficult to get all the new features into the app while keeping the old features (as they can sometimes be incompatible) and ignoring the fact that your competitors have been able to achieve this, perhaps a very smart thing you could do is release version 5.12.0 back into the app store as "Strava Classic". Target this specifically to those users who do not benefit (or perceive no benefit) to an untethered experience.

    An example of this done well is "Sports Tracker", they had their existing application and renamed it to "Sports Tracker Classic", their new experimental app was released as "Sports Tracker". Looking at the store now, it is simply "Sports Tracker" and "Sports Tracker 2".

    So why not just have "Strava Classic" and "Strava", or "Strava" and "Strava 2" (or perhaps "Strava AW edition")

    If your company no longer has the source code to the 5.12.0 version, you need to fire your entire engineering team as they have failed your company completely.

    It has been almost a quarter of a year since you released 5.14.0, that is a quarter of a year of pissing off customers. Noted that the percentage of upset customers would not be great, but no company can afford to throw away subscriptions and this is what your company appears to be doing.

    May I finally suggest that this time you engage your users to ask them if they would like 5.12.0 to be released as "Strava Classic". In fact, to the users who read this and agree with it, reply with a +1.

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  • I'd like to echo comments from the cyclists above. With the new release I was looking forwards to a more integrated experience between Watch and iPhone, whereby the various sensor information and displays compliment each other. As a premium user, the iPhone app could replace a separate bike computer, and the Watch heartrate monitor should negate the need for a separate strap.

    However, I now find myself reverting to a chest strap, and ignoring the Watch during rides. Was this the intent for the new version?

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