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Strava could reintroduce support for Bluetooth in app

Joe Robinson
28 Sep 2020

BLE sensor support enters beta trial after being dropped from Strava app last year

Bluetooth sensor pairing could be returning to the Strava smartphone app following its controversial removal last year.

The fitness app was forced to stop supporting Bluetooth devices, such as heart rate monitors, directly from the smartphone app due to stability issues. At the time, Strava reported that people using the app with BLE devices were seeing the app crash 'whether or not a sensor was connected'.

This decision to remove BLE connection to the app then caused discourse among some of the brand's user base who lamented the fact that they now had to use a third-party device, such as a GPS bike computer, to connect their BLE devices to Strava.

It looks, however, that Strava could be moving to reintroduce BLE support through the app.

Cyclist has been invited to an early access trial of Strava's recent Bluetooth update, alongside a selection of fellow users, that will see the phone app support BLE such as heart rate monitors.

A short statement followed the invite stating, 'Supporting Bluetooth sensors caused reliability challenges for many athletes. But for a small part of the Strava community, BLE support – especially for heart rate – continues to be a high-value feature and frequent feature request.

'We’re exploring how to bring it back in a way that works for these athletes and the community at large.'

If the beta testing is successful, expect Strava to roll BLE connectivity back on to its app as a priority. It will also be a welcome addition to the fitness app that has undergone vast change in 2020.

Earlier this year, Strava removed its segment feature from free users placing segment analysis and leaderboards behind its premium paywall.

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