3 Strava Stories for you today
Today Strava announces plans for their Beacon service and it’s a good time for me to add in some lesser-interest stories that are also Strava-focussed. Let’s start with that Beacon announcement.
Strava Beacon is now free-to-all
Strava Beacon has been around for a while and was previously a subscriber-only feature.
As of today, anyone recording their workout on the Strava app can use Beacon for free…and that’s whether you are a subscriber or a free user.
Q: What is Strava Beacon?
A: With your permission, Strava Beacon lets anyone follow the progress of your Strava workout.
It’s handy if someone is nervous about where you are going or it’s simply handy that someone can get a good idea of your ETA. Wahoo, Garmin and Apple’s Find My are all broadly similar.
Using Beacon is super-easy. Just before you start your workout in the Strava app, you click the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Then enable beacons and send a text message containing a URL of your progress to any of your smartphone contacts. Subscribers can also send the same URL to your contacts in Garmin Connect which should pop up on their group track.
When I go out for a ride, I send a Beacon to a few family members. Beacon helps me stay safe and I think it motivates them to get out and be more active as well, says Michael Horvath, Strava CEO.
Strava Removes Ongoing Support For Google’s Wear OS 2
The Strava app for Wear OS 2 is very much a minimum viable product. In confirmation of that, Strava recently announced that they will no longer support the platform. That version of the app will still work but Strava doesn’t plan any changes to it.
As a consequence, Strava has confirmed their intent to support and continue to develop their NEW Wear OS app on the next-generation Wear OS 3 platform – currently only available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch4.
New Launch Tile for Wear OS 3
Must Read: Detailed Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
Wear OS 3 has a very nice feature called Tiles. These are temporary faces that you can slide over the watch face that show: status information, a menu for further information, launch pads for other features. Prior to Watch OS 3, a maximum of 5 tiles was available and the ability of 3rd parties to create custom tiles was severely limited. That’s now changed and 3rd parties can create their own Tiles and up to 15 can be used at any one time.
Strava has developed a nice looking Tile for Wear OS 3 and that is just a launcher for your sports profiles within Strava.
As you can just make out in the image below, there’s a similar one from Komoot and adidas Runtastic/Swim.com have both created a Tile that shows your recent historical progress in workouts. You could instead launch apps or other functionality from a complication on your main watch face but there might not be enough slots for the complications you want and so Tiles are a great alternative (better than Apple Watch!).
Making Beacon free to all is a great move by Strava. It will certainly encourage more casual cyclists to use Strava which is what Strava wants after all.
However, I suspect group tracking is becoming progressively more used by all of us as we all become ever-more connected. More serious cyclists tend not to use the Strava app to record rides and, instead, have dedicated bike computers. Strava needs to come up with an all-encompassing solution that lets Stava, Wahoo and Garmin users all see where each other is during group rides.
Turning to Strava on Wear OS. The decision to drop Wear OS 2 is brutal but sensible. I hope the Strava app for Wear OS 3 gets more love over time as I suspect that this platform will grow in popularity over the next 2-3 years as Fitbit, Google Pixel, Fossil and other vendors come on board.
Read More About Strava- here
Something different? Why not check out my Apple Watch 6 review…it’s a much more awesome watch than you think and only a battery and two buttons away from destroying Garmin’s market share. Just sayin’