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Strava extends its popular Beacon safety feature to the Apple Watch

Strava Beacon apple watch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Unexpected injuries, chance encounters with wildlife, or even getting lost can turn a short workout into a daylong ordeal. Strava users with an Apple Watch are now a little bit safer when exercising outside thanks to Strava and its newly expanded Beacon safety feature. Available now, Strava has rolled out Beacon to the Apple Watch, allowing owners to use the feature on their wearable instead of their iPhone.

Strava introduced Beacon, its first safety feature, a few years back after a survey revealed users were interested in a tracking feature. Beacon tracking allows friends and family to monitor an athlete location without having to log into Strava or install the Strava app. If someone is late returning home, a loved one can check Beacon to see if the athlete is still on track or needs assistance. Likewise, the person out exercising can run, bike or hike knowing that a friend or family member is watching them from afar and monitoring their progress.

Beacon is enabled inside the Strava mobile app and turned on when a person starts an outdoors activity from the app or a compatible smartwatch. Most Garmin fitness watches and now the Apple Watch supports Beacon. Once enabled, Beacon then will send a notice to the athlete’s safety contact with location information. The new Apple Watch integration allows Strava users to turn on Beacon directly from their Watch while leaving their phone in their pocket or armband. Strava members with a cellular-capable Apple Watch can activate and use Beacon from their Watch without having to carry their phones on them.

Strava is known for its challenges, Kudos, and other social features that encourage people to move. The social network for athletes has over 42 million members globally and is growing at a rapid pace. Strava’s basic service is free and allows athletes to track and share their activities. The company also offers a premium Summit service with extra features like Beacon safety tracking and advanced workout analysis. The Summit subscription is broken down into three packs: Training, safety, and analysis. Users can choose the pack that best suits their needs or subscribe to all three packs. Pricing for each pack starts at $2 per month, with a small discount when you purchase all three for $5 per month (billed annually).

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Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
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