Tech Tidbits: New Zwift Features, New Strava CEO, Apple Watch Siri Health Integration

Here’s a quick round of notable new sports tech things in the last 24 hours or so.

New Strava CEO Appointed:

After a 10-month search, Strava has announced the name of their new/upcoming CEO – Michael Martin. He will replace Strava co-founder Michael Horvath, who announced he was leaving the company this past winter. His departure was preceded by an uproar over Strava’s lack of communication around price changes, which the company eventually apologized for.

Looking at Michael Martin, his most recent gig is YouTube, specifically YouTube Shopping. Prior to that he was at Nike for 6 years. A quick career page includes:

May 2022 to present: YouTube, GM/VP of Shopping
Oct 2020 to May 2022: Nike, VP/GM, Nike Marketplace Greater China
Oct 2019 to Oct 2020: Nike, VP/GM, Nike Direct Greater China
Oct 2016 to Oct 2019: Nike, VP, Global Head of Digital Products
Mar 2013 to Sept 2016: NBC Universal, SVP NBC Digital Product & Engineering
Jan 2008 to Mar 2013: Disney ABC, VP, Technology

At Nike, he was in the fitness team as the product leader for Nike Run Club, Nike Training Club, Nike Adapt, and Apple Watch Nike+. It appears his tenure was well after the Nike Watch. Remember that?

Now, I don’t know Michael Martin. Or, at least I don’t think I know him. Maybe I met him back in the Nike days at some point. Either way, we don’t really have a ton of data to go on in terms of the direction he wants to go in. There’s obviously been lots of fear today in forums/Twitter/etc that given his YouTube background, he’ll turn it into an ad hellscape. Of course, I’ll note that countless people have actually been asking for an ad-supported option for Strava for years. While I’m not one of them, there’s plenty that would prefer that to opening their wallets. To each their own.

However, as someone who is in the rather unique position of actually using the YouTube Shopping platform as a ‘creator’, it’s…umm…not great. YouTube Shopping is essentially the feature below a video that lets you see a product (e.g. an Apple Watch) and then get redirected to a site (e.g. Walmart) to buy it. The YouTuber then gets a standard affiliate commission, varying between 0% (not kidding) and 20%. Most are 1-4% for the category I review.

Yes, YouTube Shopping has gotten better in the past few months, but overall there’s nothing about it that scales terribly well for creators (which is what matters here) based on my using it for the past year or so. Not to mention that data insights are minimal to non-existent, and clarity around products and relationships even less.

Now, this isn’t meant to be a post about YouTube Shopping – I lose enough of my life already trying to add/find/remove products to old videos. Instead, it’s meant to point out that I’m happy to give any CEO a clean slate when arriving at a new company. There’s countless reasons why YouTube Shopping could be the reasons it is the way it is today, including forces working against him (above or below him). And of course, inversely, some of the work he did at Nike is very good, especially around the integration with Apple – building a strong community there of people that really love Nike Run Club.

The point is, I’m eager to see what he might do at Strava, yet at the same time – I kinda felt like Strava was really starting to (mostly) find their groove on new features over the past 8 or so months. Thus, only time will tell what happens next. He’ll officially start his new role on Jan 2nd, 2024.

New Zwift Features:

Today Zwift announced a number of new features in their seasonal ‘This Season on Zwift’. Albeit, many of these have unclear timelines or dates, but, at least we get some clarity into what’s coming. I’ve linked GPLAMA’s video above covering them.

However, in particular, I want to zero in on one thing: Apple Watch heart rate support returns. This feature allowed you to use the optical heart rate sensor in your Apple Watch as a heart rate sensor for Zwift. This was killed off two years ago, when Zwift deemed it unreliable (setting aside countless other fitness companies, including Peloton, made it work just fine). In any case, rather than try and fix it, they removed the feature…except for those that had already enabled it – who got to keep it.

Well, turns out what’s old is new again, and Zwift is back at it. Starting at some point this winter (the exact phrasing I got is “next couple of months”), you’ll get back your Apple Watch optical heart rate data. In asking Zwift about this, the feature is coming back because Zwift says there are changes in WatchOS10 that make it viable for Zwift to bring the feature back.

WatchOS10 was announced this past June at Apple’s WWDC, and then officially hit production release in September. It included a host of features related to sports/fitness, including cycling power meters, cycling sensors, and structured workout support. In fact, if Zwift wanted to, they could technically even route the power meter support via Apple Watch. Though, I see zero upsides to doing that from a latency standpoint.

In any event, WatchOS10 is available to Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Apple Watch Ultra 1/2, and Apple Watch SE 1/2.

Apple Watch Siri Health Integration:

Finally, we’ll end on a quickie – also related to Apple Watch. Which is that with the latest version of Apple WatchOS 10.2 and iOS 17.2 released today, you can now talk to Siri and ask health/fitness-related questions that pull from Apple Health on your phone (that’s the database that holds all of your medical/sports/fitness/health data on your phone).

Note that the first time you ask it an Apple Health-related question, it’ll ask you to authorize it (using your fingers, not voice):

Apple has given various examples of questions you can ask – and log, including:

Example questions you can ask:


“How does my Move ring look today?”

“Did I close my Exercise ring?”

“What’s my step count?”

“How far have I walked this week?”

“How far did I bike yesterday?”

“What’s my heart rate?”

“What’s my blood oxygen?”

“How much did I sleep last night?”

“How much have I slept this week?”

“What’s my blood glucose level?”

“What was my blood pressure yesterday?”

Example things you can ask it to log:


“I took my 8 a.m. medications.”

“Log that I took my multivitamin.”

“I weigh 167 pounds.”

“My period started today.”

“Log that I have spotting today.”

“My blood sugar is 122.”

“Record my blood pressure as 118 over 76.”

“Log my body temperature as 98.3 degrees.”

Personally, I’d like a bit more sass in the answers. I want a ‘Friday night 2AM still at the bar Siri’; for some of these questions. Ask it how recent workouts have been trending and it fires back that your trends “look like you’ve been hitting the cake too hard” or that sleep trends “appear to involve less time sleeping and more time horizontal shuffling”. Maybe someday.

Till then, I’ll just get back the usual answer that I didn’t sleep enough.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Oskars

    Well Nike Run Club for Android was long forgotten buggy piece of crap. Not sure if this is a good idea of him to take up strava next

  2. Pavel Vishniakov

    I guess it’s worth mentioning that new health-related Siri features on Apple Watch seem to require the latest watch as well (Series 9 or Ultra 2). I remember it being mentioned during the september keynote and the fact that none of the suggested commands work on my Series 8 running watchOS 10.2 confirms it.

  3. Heinrich Hurtz

    Funny about avatar body types. When I was heavier, it’d bulk me up and make me buff rather portly like I was. I’d like to choose a portly avatar. More realistic and more motivating in losing weight and getting fit.

  4. Lee Weikert

    Maybe he will get Strava to add “workout” to indoor and non-GPS activities….Unless you are a lifeguard a pool swim is never going to be a “Commute”….

  5. Daniel

    I dont get any of the “new features” Strava is making. Their mapping and routing are terrible compared to RWGPS. I could care less about messaging. They havent improved features that have been there for years and years (training plans, analysis, even segments could stand to be improved). To me Strava is about keeping it simple and doing what is does best REALLY REALLY well (i.e., Segment leaderboards and personal growth). I also agree that CEOs deserve a clean slate.

    • ArT

      I agree with you. I love drawing routes on RWGPS. This is a model for route planning for me. The free tools are much better than the paid Strava.

    • PeterF

      Agreed. Besides an integration platform Strava is primarily a social thing for me. Give me control over what I see in my activity feed and I would be sooo happy (I have a paid Strava subscription btw)

      And @Ray: more than knowing his previous professional career I would like to know what his sports life is like. Which link to strava.com is he? (or is he just a sales droid without personal experience with endurance sports?)

  6. Maybe they should add a “snarky response” slider control to Siri so you can go from Clinical to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

  7. David B.

    I generally wear a chest strap when using Zwift but I also use my Apple watch SE to check for accuracy. I don’t see more than a beat or two per minute average over an hour or two. It would be great if I could forego the chest strap and just use the watch with Zwift.

  8. Bob

    I predict the ability to buy things that “influencers” are running or riding with. “Kofuzi just ran with the XYZ shoe, buy it here.” That is most likely why they are brining Martin on board.

    On another note, most people I speak to in my riding and running circle are not renewing their Strava memberships. It just doesn’t seem like something they want to spend their money on these days.

  9. usr

    Zwift/Applewatch reads a like an uninspired copy of that Strava App/Bluetooth HRM storyline ;)

  10. John Bravo

    Strava lost me with the pricing shenanigans. I noticed they started changing the advertised price to the old price as my renewal in October neared (but when pressed they said it would be whatever the new rate was at the time of the renewal…shady right to the end). It was worth $59 to me (barely)…it is not worth $79. I dumped premium Strava and never felt like I was missing something I needed. So I thank the old CEO for helping me save some money that I only thought about when they got greedy.

    • ArT

      Better a low price that everyone pays than a high price that 10% of users pay. However, they will never understand this principle.

  11. Frederic

    So you’re saying the most likely next feature will be “Strava Shopping” :-D ?

    I’ve always been surprised that Strava didn’t have ads like Endomondo and frankly most of the “freemium” apps out there.
    Unfortunately, that might be the next easy move for Strava, huh ?

  12. Jeremy

    Eric Min should tell his product team “no new features” until they’re ready to release a useful in-game elevation profile. Who cares about the BS they seem to be wasting their resources on these days? My Garmin is able to provide better and more intuitive information about upcoming climbs in the real world than Zwift can in fantasyland – it doesn’t make any sense.

  13. Peter Terribili

    The Apple Watch heart rate integration is now live!