Strava has reintroduced the ability to use external heart rate sensors via Bluetooth with its phone app. The company had removed the feature just over a year ago, along with ANT+ connectivity.
The company says it has worked with the community over the past year to find a fix. Using the functionality in the past would sometimes cause the app to crash. Further details reveal the original issue was caused by legacy code supporting old direct pairing with BLE/ANT+ devices.
Now, Bluetooth support for external heart rate sensors is back, and it is available both to regular and premium members.
Here’s the statement in full.
Thanks to feedback and beta testing from the community, we’ve restored Bluetooth functionality in the app for heart rate monitors, while resolving prior issues that caused the app to crash.
All athletes can now pair a BLE heart rate sensor straight to their phone and track their heart rate in real time during a workout – no watch or cycling computer necessary.
Use it to keep your runs and rides in the right training zones, analyze your efforts post-workout, and for subscribers, gain valuable insight into your performance with heart rate metrics like Fitness and Relative Effort.
What this means is that you can now pair a Bluetooth heart rate sensor directly to the phone through the Strava app and see data in real-time. This is not a feature that is massively used, but a percentage of the 70+million user base will certainly find use for it.
The feature is currently limited to heart rate. Also, there’s no mention on whether Strava will return ANT+ connectivity.
“Our plan is to first roll out heart rate monitors with BLE pairing to ensure it’s working as intended before we look at expanding to power / cadence meters,” said Strava’s spokesperson.
“We don’t have a hard timeline but if our rollout of BLE pairing works as planned, you can expect power / cadence meter support to be recording devices that we would look at to support in the future.”
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