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.