Strava Reverses Course: Turns back on Apple Health Sync Functionality

Strava-Apple-Health-Settings

Strava has reversed course on their recent disablement of Apple Health sync for 3rd party workouts (e.g. data from Zwift, TrainerRoad, Garmin, etc.), after abruptly disabling the feature last week without notice. That move impacted many Apple iPhone users that have used Strava for years to help consolidate their numerous workout data sources into a single Apple Health repository. Strava’s change not only broke people’s ability to close their daily activity rings, but it also impacted health insurance programs that leveraged Apple Health as a central database (and the long-existing Strava sync to fill up that database). Not to mention numerous other apps that leveraged the Apple Health data.

After countless reports of Strava support tickets opened and canceled Strava accounts, Strava Support has just started sending out a pre-canned message apologizing for the change, and notifying users that it’s been re-enabled. A copy of one such message is below:

“Hi [username],

 

We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

 

This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.

 

For more information please visit our Help Article and any troubleshooting to sync any missing activities from the last few days.

Best,
Strava Support Team”

The notification to users (or at least those that opened a ticket) acknowledges the “frustration this change caused” users, and goes on to say that all activities will start transferring again, including those from the gap days where the feature was disabled.

You may remember the core reason Strava cited that they disabled this long-standing feature was that it was creating duplicate entries for consumers that accidentally enabled sync to Apple Health in two places (e.g. in both Strava and Garmin Connect). Undoubtedly this probably occurred to some consumers, but Strava’s solution was simply killing it for everyone, versus trying to engineer a better solution to preventing duplicates (such as intelligently detecting whether a secondary service is already syncing).

The company acknowledged that as well, saying “we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.”

I reached out to Strava, and their official response is:

“Our attempt to prevent duplicate activity uploads from posting to Strava created unintended consequences for our athlete community. After listening to their feedback and assessing the situation we have decided to turn syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health.”

While the unannounced change certainly wasn’t ideal, I’m glad to see Strava of 2022 reversing this decision so quickly and getting consumers functional again. We certainly never saw that with the Strava of 2019 and before. So…kudos, as they say.

With that, thanks for reading.

Tags:

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

61 Comments

  1. ShermanOl

    I feel the raw power coursing through my veins! After pushing back against Zwift for #FreeLuciano and Strava for this, who is the next arrogant cycling service that will bow to my (our) might?

  2. Jonas

    Strava’s whole MO when an issue pops up has been JUST DELETE/DISABLE IT for a long time (downhill segments, virtual segments, flyby, bluetooth sensors, Apple Health). One can only speculate why that is. It feels like engineer hours at Strava are an extremely scarce resource.

  3. Nighthawk700

    Relive is sitting in the background saying “Hey, how about us???” 😉

  4. Sam

    I respect company that reverse bad decision quickly, the new strava is def better than 2018 strava

    • usr

      And I also respect a company that apparently empowers employees enough to make mistakes like this instead of putting everything behind process and barriers and signing off every little change by a dozen people who don’t really care and their dogs. Or maybe this is what happened and nobody saw the implications? Unlikely I’d say, because in that case they’d probably be much slower rolling back. Only surprised they didn’t catch this in some a/b incremental rollout.

    • Yup, I agree. I’m glad to see them take ownership and fix it quickly.

      They do have a pretty vast semi-public beta program, but for backend toggles like this (meaning, they control whether or not the local app actually does what it says it does from a server), I get the impression those betas are more limited.

  5. Steve Cirica

    I just got that response to my support ticket! Just in time for tonight’s ride to make sure everything is up and running again.

  6. Neil

    Thanks for the update…So is there a way to get workouts that were recorded when this toggle was in play, so are missing from Apple Health into Apple Health now? I’ve tried the usual connection troubleshooting and it’s not worked….Not a big issue, having this fixed for future workouts is the big win 👍🏻

  7. Noah

    I’ve already cancelled Strava subscription and moved on to RunGapApp. Took me maybe an hour to sort it all out and get three years of history loaded and all the feeds set up the way I want. Not sure I’m in the mood to go back to Strava, though admittedly, it has some features that are unique like segments. I wonder how many others like me are out there. I still have Zwift and Garmin loading to Strava and perhaps that will be enough.

  8. David H

    Our attempt to prevent duplicate activity by carpet bombing all activity 🤣🤣🤣🤦‍♀️

  9. Bryan

    Hallelujah!

  10. Karl

    I’m still irked. I missed my rings on March 9 (the only day Strava screwed me). Broke a 3 year streak. 😭

    • Liz

      Oh man, I hope they are able to fix it for you!! I have a 1061 day streak going myself and would be sick if it was broken!!

    • Fabricio D'Amico

      Hi Karl, you can manually enter your workout on Apple Health app for that day. I hope it helps to keep your streak alive!

  11. Spiffman_Space

    The title of the article was a ‘three-reader’ for me… are Strava “turning THEIR back on” Apple Health. 🙂

  12. Mark J.

    Glad I only got the 3 month subscription to RunGap. I’m grateful RunGap was there, though.

  13. Chris

    What do you have to do to restart syncing? I’ve tried disconnecting, reconnecting, download strata again etc and no joy since it stopped.

    • My understanding from them was that it was an instant behind the scenes change.

    • Chris

      Right got it sorted. When I redownloaded I needed to go back into Strava settings and reconnect to Apple health.

      Weirdly tho, my Apple Watch was able to send via Strava app to Apple health through the outage…

  14. ReadyKilowatt

    Seems like this is more of a Garmin Connect problem than a Strava problem. If GC would correctly report up to Apple Health most of us wouldn’t need the Strava work around anyway.

    • Garmin Connect is merely one company. There are hundreds of companies that Strava partners with.

      Absolutely, Garmin needs to fix their issue, but people value Strava because it is that middleman between all sorts of platforms/devices.

  15. David Mitchell

    Great news

  16. Maria B

    If they wanted to put a quick fix into place, they could let the users decide if they want all workouts to sync to Apple Health or let folks cherry pick the ones they want to sync to Health just like they let people decide which workouts sync into Strava from Apple Health. It shouldn’t be that hard.

  17. Anne Raduns

    I spent hours trying to resync Strava and Apple Health to close my rings. It might be a small thing, but to some athletes who need a little bit of motivation everyday to keep going, it was huge to me. I simply could not get Strava to send the data to Apple Health. I finally searched the internet for help, only to find out right here that Strava disconnected it. Thank you Ray for your timely articles. Thank you Strava for re-connecting it after the outcry from other athletes. I hope whoever thought this was a good idea to disconnect it has been fired and their termination package rescinded. It probably was not an athlete wearing an apple watch who had their data pushed through by Strava.

  18. okrunner

    Suggested new title – “Ray Maker – The Most Feared Person in Endurance Sports Gadgets and Apps – With the Stroke of a Pen (keyboard) Companies Bow to His Will”

  19. Amos Friedland

    Thank you so much for advocating for this!!!

  20. lincoln

    RunGap probably had their best day ever yesterday. I dropped the £3.49 on them.

    I had the same support message from Strava…

  21. Phil W

    So, has anyone had previous workouts sync as promised by Strava – I have had none since 8th March except my new ride yesterday – all the ones in between still not appeared.

  22. mike

    Wondering if I should keep using RunGap, which I setup yesterday, or if doing so will now cause duplicates?

  23. Confused person

    May I have no idea what this is even does or doesn’t do… my strava shares with apple health but never once has a ring actually closed from it?

    I run at least once a day which should close all rings based on my apple watch’s settings for time, calories, steps and yet nothing like that links.

  24. Kirill

    I wish they also resumed providing their service in Russia. Kind of an bad move to stop athletes communication and support in these times(

  25. Rich

    All, can you confirm that avg.heart rate is coming over to apple health from strava ? My set up is Garmin to Strava and than to apple health , I get all my data except avg. heart rate … any suggestions how to fix this ?
    Thanks
    Rich

  26. Ornaled

    Good news, but I’m going to stay with RunGap. It works better then Strava, at least for me, being able to also write GPS track and heart rate to Apple Health/Fitness.app. For some reason heart rate data from Strava was broken.

  27. Alan Gooner

    All My rides came back yesterday but today they have stopped again March 17th. I rode on RGT Cycling’s virtual world. The ride sync’d to Strava but has not sync’d to Apple Health. I have a feeling they are still being selective on what Devices/Software that they do allow syncing. Anyone else having issues?

  28. Tony G

    Per the WSJ, Strava just hired a new CMO, Zipporah Allen, who “previously served as chief digital officer of Taco Bell, where her work included a taco subscription program that the fast-food chain launched in January.”

    Ms Allen said, “We’ve got a really active and engaged and passionate community around the brand. And so how we communicate that to build more users onto the platform, how we actually leverage our community to show up in the world…that’s the work that we’re going to get started on.”

    link to wsj.com

    • Not gonna lie, I’d love to have integration between Strava miles pedaled/ran and free tacos. Not sure if I really want those to be Taco Bell tacos, but hey…beggers can’t be choosers.

    • Tony G

      That’s a great idea. And, given Strava has connections to multiple tech companies there’s no reason they couldn’t just duplicate that code for multiple taco stands, not just Taco Bell. Better yet, now with this recent experience, Strava knows better not to worry about customer’s receiving duplicate “entries!” Tacos that is. Going one step too far, Apple could then integrate Miles completed, Average heart rate and “Tacos Awarded” into their rings! I think we have something here! 😉

  29. cseilern

    what happens when you have garmin connect connected with strava, but also both connected with Apple Health?

    are there some fields in GC that are unique to GC (vO2Max?) and that would be lost in the Strava transit? and what happens when two devices feed the same data to Apple Health? e.g. wearing a HR strap and an Apple Watch whilst cycling?

  30. Berlin-Ulli

    Hi Ray,

    great info as always. Thanks!

    After reading your previous post on Strava (service interruption), it came to my mind why you couldn’t write a post on best practice for data sync? I use Garmin, a Beurer weight, Trainingpeaks, Strava, Stryd, intervals.icu and other platforms, and have been trying to find out the best setup (RunGap, Fitnesssyncer, iHealth etc.) to sync activities, sleep data, steps and body composition (weight etc.).

    What do you think? Would really, really like to have that

    Best

    Ulli

  31. wilma

    Here author describe the all detail about the old school 2v open chamber cast iron link to assignmenthelper.com.au it is a great part of knowledge, many working fields are depending on this. No doubt it is part of development.

  32. Abram Abram

    I didn’t have any expectations concerning that title, but the more I was astonished. The author did a great job. I spent a few minutes reading and checking the facts. Everything is very clear and understandable. I like posts that fill in your knowledge gaps. This one is of the sort.