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Strava removes support for external sensor pairing with its mobile app

Strava has discontinued support for direct external sensor pairing to its mobile app. The reason is the functionality was causing too many app crashes.

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In a statement on its website accompanying the latest software update, Strava says as of August 28th Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors (such as those that track heart rate) will no longer pair directly with its smartphone app. An exception is the Strava Apple Watch app which can still record heart rate from sensors paired to the wearable.

Those that have connected sensors directly to the Strava smartphone app before August 28th will still be able to do so. But it seems their days are numbered as Strava says this to give them some time to find an alternative way to pair their sensors. Newly registered users and those who want to pair an external sensor directly to the Strava smartphone app are out of luck, though.

Strava adds that sensors built into a watch or cycling computer are not affected by this change. Which means that thankfully, most smartwatch and fitness tracker users can ignore the announcement.

The reason for this change in policy is app crashes. Direct pairing of sensors to the Strava app seems to be causing issues during the recording, not only for those that connect sensors but for other users as well! Disabling this feature significantly improves the stability of the app for everyone.

Strava suggests if you are affected by this change, to use the Wahoo Fitness app to record activities by directly pairing Bluetooth or ANT+ sensors with a phone. It can be set to automatically upload activities to your Strava account. Other third-party apps that sync with Strava will continue to work, as well.

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