Popular cycling and running app Strava will run independently on Google’s newest smartwatch operating system, Android Wear 2.0, the company said. This means that Android smartwatch wearers will be able to run the Strava app directly on the watch without having to carry their phones, provided that the watch has the right sensor set.
The update comes just a day after Google’s newest smartwatches, made in conjunction with LG, went on sale. (The Verge’s full review can be found here.) The two new smartwatches are said to improve on the fitness-tracking features that were present in earlier Android Wear smartwatches — especially the $349 Watch Sport, which has built-in GPS and LTE capabilities. The watch defaults to Google’s own fitness-tracking app for most activities, but now Strava is an option as well.
Strava has worked as a wearable app or "applet" on earlier smartwatch models, but in almost all instances users would have to carry their smartphones too, since Strava is dependent on GPS. It’s also worth noting that Strava is coming to Android Wear 2.0 before it’s fully optimized for Apple Watch Series 2; the company says an updated version of the app for Apple Watch is coming sometime in "early 2017."
Strava is a San Francisco-based app-maker that over the past has gained a kind of cult following among competitive athletes (or those who fancy themselves athletes) over the past several years, though it’s unclear exactly how many users the app has at this point. It’s one of the few popular health and fitness apps that has remained independent in recent years, as competitors like RunKeeper, Runtastic, and MapMyRun have all been acquired by large apparel makers.