Last year, Strava discontinued the ability to pair sensors with its smartphone app, citing stability issues.
In a statement released at the time, Strava said that “supporting Bluetooth devices was causing the app to crash during recording, whether or not a sensor was connected. Disabling this feature significantly improves recording stability for all athletes”.
This caused much ire among the app’s user-base because it required the use of a third-party app or standalone devices – such as a smartwatch or GPS bike computer – to pair sensors.
Following the outcry, the fitness tracking app has decided to reintroduce the ability to pair BLE heart rate monitors as part of a beta test for select users.
In a statement, Strava said: “supporting Bluetooth sensors caused reliability challenges for many athletes. But for a small part of the Strava community, BLE support – especially for heart rate – continues to be a high-value feature and frequent feature request.
“We’re exploring how to bring it back in a way that works for these athletes and the community at large”.
If you’re one of the lucky few beta testers, you can pair a sensor by clicking the heart rate symbol. Strava
If you’re one of the lucky few that have been chosen to take part in the beta test, you can access the sensor tab (the heartbeat symbol) from the record screen. From there, you can pair a BLE heart rate monitor.
Whether power meters and other sensors will also be supported down the line isn’t divulged.
Regardless, for those users that don’t wish to purchase a standalone tracking device, this will no doubt be welcome news.