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Strava to remove Bluetooth and ANT+ from app

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Strava to remove Bluetooth and ANT+ from app

Old 10-18-19, 08:21 AM
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cycledogg
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Strava to remove Bluetooth and ANT+ from app

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/l...ant-app-440643

Since I'm not a Strava geek, could someone please explain to me why this may or may not be a good idea. I have always thought this was a great way to share data with fellow cyclist and make it a more interesting tool for riders.
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Old 10-18-19, 08:29 AM
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I'm not sure anyone understands why they are doing this. They say it is causing the app to become unstable (I've never had an issue although I don't often use my phone directly), but rather than fix it (which should be possible given that it works fine for many 3rd party apps), they are simply removing the functionality.
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Old 10-18-19, 08:32 AM
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They made this move months back - I'm not sure why the news is suddenly gaining traction.

In any event, they're just removing the ability to pair with external sensors when you're recording your ride with your phone - this has no bearing on data collected via a dedicated bike computer. They said that sensor pairing functionality was causing stability issues with the app and that they felt they were better off without it.
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Old 10-18-19, 09:11 AM
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I use a Garmin 820 edge or a Forerunner 735xt for data collection and am not negatively impacted by this. I will say though, I find Strava's reasoning to be quite dumb, to be perfectly frank (as was previously mentioned) if third party apps can do it, they should have no trouble doing it as well. A move like this really does make me question the savvyness of the software engineers they have, kinda makes me cast some doubt on their whole system...
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Old 10-18-19, 09:26 AM
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If your dead set on using your phone as a computer and need to pair sensors. Download the Wahoo Fitness app. You can pair your sensors to that and then link it/authorize to Strava (in your profile). You can also link RWGPS, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFitness, etc, etc... When you are done riding, it automatically uploads to Strava and any other app you have linked.
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Old 10-18-19, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
If your dead set on using your phone as a computer and need to pair sensors. Download the Wahoo Fitness app. You can pair your sensors to that and then link it/authorize to Strava (in your profile). You can also link RWGPS, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFitness, etc, etc... When you are done riding, it automatically uploads to Strava and any other app you have linked.
This is what I need to do. I found out about the Strava news a month ago when I tried to pair my sensors in the app as a fall-back when/if my Bolt runs out of juice (for some reason, my auto-off keeps getting turned off, it'll drain after a ride and I'll find it dead just before the next ride); I'll try this with the Wahoo Fitness app instead - thanks!
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Old 10-18-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
This is what I need to do. I found out about the Strava news a month ago when I tried to pair my sensors in the app as a fall-back when/if my Bolt runs out of juice (for some reason, my auto-off keeps getting turned off, it'll drain after a ride and I'll find it dead just before the next ride); I'll try this with the Wahoo Fitness app instead - thanks!
It actually works pretty darn good. I had to do it this way yesterday because my Bolt is in the mail to be exchanged. The analysis is exactly the same as what you would see on your Elemnt App. It looks exactly the same. I paired my PowerMeter (to include cadence), Speed, and HRM. I didn’t bother to pair my Di2, but I’m sure I could.
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Old 10-18-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
I use a Garmin 820 edge or a Forerunner 735xt for data collection and am not negatively impacted by this. I will say though, I find Strava's reasoning to be quite dumb, to be perfectly frank (as was previously mentioned) if third party apps can do it, they should have no trouble doing it as well. A move like this really does make me question the savvyness of the software engineers they have, kinda makes me cast some doubt on their whole system...
It's not the devs, it's management deciding priorities.
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Old 10-18-19, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
They made this move months back - I'm not sure why the news is suddenly gaining traction.

In any event, they're just removing the ability to pair with external sensors when you're recording your ride with your phone - this has no bearing on data collected via a dedicated bike computer. They said that sensor pairing functionality was causing stability issues with the app and that they felt they were better off without it.
It's because they just sent an email to users . . . Aug. 28 ended being able to add sensors. Oct. 28 it will stop reading from sensors for everyone.

Anyway, I haven't had a reliability issue, but I assume Strava decided to focus instead on being just a collector of ride/run data, given that so many people have bike computers or running watches, etc.

That said, it's a bit annoying for those times you might want to track an activity but don't have a separate means (e.g., going for a ride while traveling)
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Old 10-18-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's not the devs, it's management deciding priorities.
not a bad point, I think it was also mentioned that per their data only a small subset of users connected the strava app to devices anyways
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Old 10-19-19, 04:37 AM
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Strava have only hinted at some unspecified stability issues, but I'm betting their primary concern is security. A number of articles this year have discussed Bluetooth vulnerabilities. Strava may have experienced some attempts by hackers to exploit Bluetooth to swamp the system, steal data or probe for future exploits.

I'd already been recording directly to other apps anyway, then uploading to Strava, so this won't affect my habits. Since 2016 I've used Cyclemeter or iPhone and Wahoo Fitness for both iPhone and Android, and settled on Wahoo Fitness because it's reliable (one glitch in three years), with low resource and power demands. If I decide to run it with the display visible it's easier to read at a glance than Strava -- although nowadays I only use the display on the trainer for intervals.

I didn't get any Bluetooth or ANT+ devices until this year and was already accustomed to Wahoo Fitness. The transition was easy.

My only complaint is that, at least at the freebie level, Strava doesn't display or make much use of some data, especially cadence. There doesn't appear to be any easy way to figure out my cadence for specific segments. But I mostly use the cadence sensor for indoor sessions and it's right in front of me. Outdoors, I know from occasionally using the Wahoo Fitness display on the handlebar, my cadence is pretty much 90 rpm like clockwork, other than steep climbs and downhills when I'm trying for a PR.
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Old 10-19-19, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's not the devs, it's management deciding priorities.
Exactly. And I don't blame them for making this decision either. There are enough differences in sensors to make this a nightmare unless making a bike computer is the main goal.
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Old 10-19-19, 10:38 AM
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I'm not impacted by this decision - my Wahoo computer is connected to the Wahoo ELEMNT app on my phone who automatically transfers data to Strava.

Seems to me like a decision from upper management to save $ which is not a bad idea. It's also most likely because the majority of users are using a third party app instead of connecting their devices directly on Strava.

Last edited by eduskator; 10-19-19 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 10-19-19, 10:55 AM
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I don't Strava much (I'm more of an rwgps person) but it's pretty clear that as a business they make money from Summit subscriptions. And I'd venture to say the vast majority of Summit subscribers don't track using the app but have a computer - this is trivial data for them to check and consider. In fact, maybe their app is used very little in general for sensor tracking even among non-paying users. So their app developers get tied up competing with dedicated computers for little to no benefit, constantly fixing obscure connectivity bugs on a plethora of systems, while to Strava important business features like better social interaction and in-app planning/routing are buried in the backlog. It just looks to me like they paused, lifted their heads to look forward past their nose, and gave a good think to what their business really is; then came to the conclusion the value of the app bike computer features aren't worth their utility to funnel users towards subscription, or retention. In fact, buggy features may be a net negative.
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Old 10-19-19, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
I don't Strava much (I'm more of an rwgps person) but it's pretty clear that as a business they make money from Summit subscriptions. And I'd venture to say the vast majority of Summit subscribers don't track using the app but have a computer - this is trivial data for them to check and consider. In fact, maybe their app is used very little in general for sensor tracking even among non-paying users. So their app developers get tied up competing with dedicated computers for little to no benefit, constantly fixing obscure connectivity bugs on a plethora of systems, while to Strava important business features like better social interaction and in-app planning/routing are buried in the backlog. It just looks to me like they paused, lifted their heads to look forward past their nose, and gave a good think to what their business really is; then came to the conclusion the value of the app bike computer features aren't worth their utility to funnel users towards subscription, or retention. In fact, buggy features may be a net negative.
You nailed it. They see every ride (obviously) and they know how it was recorded. Undoubtedly, the number recorded on a Strava app with external sensors paired is probably almost vanishingly small. Especially since on all mobile platforms there are other options that record well and do a good job with external sensors. Probably a very simple decision to make - the management equivalent of palm to forehead.

I'm in an beta test group for a bike computer and I can't begin to tell you the myriad of problems with each new sensor added - there isn't enough adherence to standards to make them all automatically work to the ANT+ profiles and many require tweaks (power meters are a special class of offender). And then they can break when either side goes through a software rev.

Good decision on Strava's perspective. Work on making it easier for their bike computer and app partners to integrate their features and spend the money on adding features and capability to the platform.

So now we'll probably listen to the vocal 1% ( if it's even that high) go nuts over this until it dies out.
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Old 10-19-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
They made this move months back - I'm not sure why the news is suddenly gaining traction.

In any event, they're just removing the ability to pair with external sensors when you're recording your ride with your phone - this has no bearing on data collected via a dedicated bike computer. They said that sensor pairing functionality was causing stability issues with the app and that they felt they were better off without it.
The reason it's gaining traction now is that if you have been using sensors with a phone before they made the announcement you were grandfathered in until October 28th and yesterday a message went out saying you can get it working again by adding something called Fitness for $59.99/year.

Last edited by audiomagnate; 10-19-19 at 02:03 PM.
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