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Strava removes support for Bluetooth and ANT+ from app

Peter Stuart
18 Oct 2019

Summit users vent anger as they now need to buy third party hardware or use an alternative app to record activities

Strava has today announced that it will no longer support direct ANT+ or Bluetooth uploads to the app, meaning Strava Summit subscribers will no longer be able to just use their smartphones and the app to gather heart rate or power data.

In an announcement sent out to Summit users, Strava explained: ‘We recently discovered that pairing Bluetooth heart rate monitors or power meters directly with the app is causing Strava to crash for millions of athletes,’ and in a move to improve the app’s stability Strava would no longer support either ANT+ or Bluetooth device pairing.

The change will not affect users who currently use a computer or GPS watch, as the data will be uploaded to Strava and generate the same level of analytics and metrics as users currently enjoy. Those who use the app directly will have to find an alternative, though.

The announcement suggested users should either use a separate app to record ANT+ and Bluetooth data and then upload to Strava or purchase a third-party device. The company offered a 20% discount on a Polar Vantage GPS as part of the announcement.

Disgruntled Summit users

Many Strava Summit users took to social media to vent their frustration at the change.

Strava user Mike Stead wrote on Twitter, ‘What you’re saying is I can’t use Strava to record a run, bike ride or any other activity if I want heart rate. You’re forcing us to download, create account, activate, sync with Strava & then use a completely separate app.’

Several complained that they had purchased Bluetooth heart rate monitors specifically to pair to their phones when using the app.

Others expressed disappointment at needing to download a new app to then upload to Strava, one arguing Strava is ‘telling me to delete their app and use another one that uploads to Strava instead.’

Others have questioned why Strava could not iron out the issues causing the app to crash instead of removing a key function for so many users.

We approached Strava for clarification on the reasons behind the move. Gareth Mills, UK Country Manager at Strava, said, 'In August we made the decision that Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors would no longer pair directly with the Strava phone app.

'We had seen a significant fall in the proportion of people using this method of bringing data into Strava over the last few years, and we communicated to affected members directly at the time to tell them what was happening.

'Enabling Bluetooth and ANT+ connections directly with the App was making Strava unstable for millions of our members, regardless of whether they used the feature, so we felt like we had to make this difficult decision.'

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