Strava, a fitness app that makes it easy to track your running and cycling sessions, has made a key safety feature free for all users. Going forward, anyone who uses the activity tracking app can enable Beacon, a tool that will share the user’s real-time location with the people they choose. This makes it easier for partners, parents, and friends to seek help if something goes wrong.
In May of last year, Strava made some of its features exclusive to paying subscribers, locking things like leaderboard analysis and third-party leaderboards behind a paywall. Going forward, however, Beacon will be a free feature for those who choose to utilize it. The feature is found in the app’s ‘Record’ navigation menu.
Users can toggle on Beacon by tapping its icon, then select the safety contacts who they want to have access to the real-time location tracking. Users can select up to three different people from their contacts to receive the data. From there, users will see a ‘Send Beacon Text’ button that will send a text with relevant details to the safety contacts.
From there, the contacts will be able to see your real-time location info for as long as the recording is active. The feature is dependent on the user’s cell service and location services. Assuming you live somewhere that has solid mobile coverage, your contacts should see an update on your location every 15 or so seconds.
The recipient doesn’t need to install the Strava app to monitor the user’s location; instead, the tracking is delivered in the form of a URL that will open in the recipient’s browser. The tracking availability will end once the user stops the recording process, ensuring they don’t have access to your daily activities after the exercise is finished.