Current limitations of the Windows Phone platform

Lot’s of Striver users have been asking about support for various Heart Rate Monitors and most of the recent requests are for Bluetooth 4 smart devices.  There are some great Bluetooth smart devices on the market including Heart Rate Monitors and Cadence devices like these from Wahoo.

With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 we now have support for Bluetooth Smart devices on the Windows Phone platform.  This is great because up until now Windows Phone had a very limited range of cycling\running\sport monitors and sensors it could connect with.  Support for Bluetooth Smart opens up a whole range of devices to Windows Phone that all interact in a standard way.

HOWEVER, there’s one big problem for location tracking apps like Striver.  It’s almost always essential for location tracking apps to be able to run and record location changes in the background.  Nobody really has the app running on screen during an entire bike ride or run so it’s a must have to be usable in the real world.  The release of Windows Phone 8 brought with it the ability to do location tracking in the background but, and it’s a pretty major but, the release of Windows Phone 8.1 removed that capability.  It’s a pretty huge breaking change for this type of app.

What this means is that currently you cannot have background location tracking in the same app as Bluetooth Smart device connectivity on a Windows Phone.  It means that this type of app is stuck with the capabilities of Windows Phone 8 and cannot make use of any new features in Windows Phone 8.1 or Universal apps for the matter.

I’ll just have to put my Wahoo Tickr and Blue SC in a draw for now until Microsoft sort it out.  If you would like to express your opinion on the matter to Microsoft you can do it here.

7 thoughts on “Current limitations of the Windows Phone platform

  1. Marco

    Hi,
    any updates on this? The only thing that is actually keeping me from actually using my windows phone w/Striver and stick to my trusty Bryton Rider 20/40. as a cyclist, I really need cadence sensor support (and HRM). Not to mention I pledged the indiegogo LIMITS power meter project, and they just announced they’ll support BTsmart when reaching 250K.

    off topic, but are you considering developing MS Band support in Striver? At least you’d have HRM available. Tried the MSBand for my rides, but their Strava syncing is lagging badly – up to 36 hours before my ride is visible in Strava. sucks.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Marco,

      No updates other than to confirm the limitations in WP 8.1. I do believe that Windows\Windows Phone 10 will finally support background location tracking once again but this is currently in early preview so I will take a look in due course.

      I have a Microsoft Band myself and it already has an official Strava link which works well. At some point soon I will look at whether there a case of a Striver app on the band or not. Any ideas what it might do over and above the current offering?

      Thanks,
      Kevin

      Reply
      1. Marco

        For one it could support reliable syncing with Strava. My Band rides only show up after an unknown timespan. Rather useless. Kudos and comment notifications would be useful.
        And of course sensor info, but I guess that’s all limited by the OS.

        Reply
  2. Johny Mielony

    Hi,
    i just don’t get it. If it is not possible to run in the same time gps in background and bluetooth so how does other apps, just like endomondo for example, do that?
    I would definitely buy export feature if this app could support my BT4 HR sensor.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi,

      So you use Endomondo with a BTLE HR device with background location recording and it all works?

      Thanks,
      Kevin

      Reply
      1. Johny Mielony

        Yes, it does work. App is in background, I can take pictures, check e-mail, make call etc. and everything is recorded. Location data and hr data.

        Reply

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