Image source: Strava

Strava’s Beacon location sharing feature is now free for everyone

Strava has announced that its live location sharing feature called Beacon is now available to all at no charge. Previously, only those with a Premium Subscription could use it.

What is Strava Beacon?

Strava is the software of choice for many runners and cyclists. It has a plethora of useful workout tracking and analysis features and allows you to connect with others.

Beacon is a service that allows users to share their live location with others during outdoor exercise. The idea is to give both athletes and their loved ones peace of mind.

What it does is, it generates a unique URL that is sent as a text message to your safety contacts. This can be anyone so they do not have to be Strava users.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

Your safety contacts can then use this link to gain access to a view of your real-time activity. They do not need any special software, the info is shown on a map via the mobile browser. Your current location updates every 15 seconds. Safety contacts can also see your past movements, from the time you commenced the workout.

How to use Beacon

Of course, the athlete does need a smartphone in order for this to work, along with the Strava app. That is because the service uses the phone’s satellite signal in order to keep tabs on your location and send the info to your safety contacts. A user can even send text messages via Beacon.

All of this works from the Strava smartphone app or some devices such as Apple and Garmin watches. Here’s how enable on the Strava app.

  1. From the smartphone software press Record on the bottom navigation menu.
  2. Select the gear icon in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Toggle Beacon to ON.

It’s as easy as that.

Strava says its live location sharing feature is now available to all for free

This is also where you can add or amend your Safety Contacts list. The other option is to manually text a link to anyone you like. Three is the maximum number of people that you can have following the live activity at the same time.

Beacon is now free

As mentioned, until today the feature was only available to those with a paid Strava subscriptions. This currently runs at $5 per month or $59.99 per year. Now Beacon is being opened up to all, but only in the Strava mobile app.

So if you want to use Beacon directly from the Apple Watch or Garmin devices, it will continue to be a paid feature. Strava says this is due to the “added complexity of supporting those integrations”.

Strava says its live location sharing feature is now available to all for free
Image source: Strava

One of a number of updates

The Beacon upgrade follows Strava’s recent Updated Edit Activity and Edit Map Visibility release. That allows you to control how much detail on your workouts is visible to your Strava followers.

But it’s not all good news. According to Strava’s support pages, it has ceased support for the Wear OS app for devices on Wear OS 2.XX. The company says it is doing this in order to for Wear OS 3.0 devices.

The problem is, there simply aren’t many of those at the moment. Actually, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the only one. It is only well into next year when we are expecting a bunch more to be compatible, including the Fossil Gen 6 watches which were announced a few days ago.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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