Strava Announces Family Plan, Dark Mode, and AI Cheat Finder

Strava just announced a series of updates at their annual Camp Strava event, where they’re showing off a bunch of new stuff. This year’s event marks the first time new CEO Michael Martin has been at the helm after starting in January – and he seems eager to say ‘there’s a new sheriff in town’. And I’ll give them credit, their little 82 second teaser video is hilariously well done – it’s just their CEO sitting there, reading mean social media comments… and going along with it!

In total, there is a whole series of things in the pipeline, some more concrete – and others a bit more vague. Here’s the list of quick hits, and then I’ll go into more detail about the nuances below:

– Add a new family plan for up to four family or friends in a group (except price TBA)
– Add ‘Dark Mode’ mobile app
– Add night heat maps to show which routes are better/safer for night training
– Add new quick edit feature to edit training details
– Adding new “Athlete Intelligence” feedback, similar to basic activity coaching feedback
– Adding “AI-Enabled Leaderboard Integrity” to detect unlikely uploads

All of these things come from what Strava says is a revamped development process within the company, specifically saying it uses a “revamped design system, an initiative that is integral to driving an increased pace of product innovation at Company.”

Strava’s new CEO, Michael Martin, further says:

“We are focused on two fundamental shifts to accelerate how we deliver value to 125 million people worldwide – building for women and leveraging artificial intelligence – that will unlock new community and partner-powered experiences across the platform. ”

Of course, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Virtually nothing announced today is actually available today, it’s all coming sometime between “this summer” and “later this year.” So let’s dive a little deeper.

The new bits in detail:

The company announced these updates through both a press release and an on-stage event. Neither is super deep in the technical details, but some parts are clearer than others. Let’s start with the most financially interesting: family plans.

Family plan:

The new family plan allows up to four people to come together under one paid membership that has the same rights/features as an individual membership. Moreover, you do not have to live at the same address. Strava specifically notes that this can be four people, as long as they are in the same country (and not already members). In other words, you could find three other ride buddies and split the costs among them.

Strava has already posted a detailed FAQ page about this, with a series of questions – minus the most important one: how expensive? The company says they are working through the details of that, and it will be rolled out in select countries this summer.

The family subscription is only offered as an annual subscription. If you are already a subscriber, you can cancel your current subscription and then join a family group. You won’t lose any data/functions/etc…

This could be super interesting – and I think it’s very appealing to a lot of… well… families. But also many other friends of mine who don’t bother to have a paid subscription to Strava because they don’t use the features often enough. This could push them over the edge. Or, conversely, it could result in a bunch of very smart cyclists/runners simply banding together and splitting the bill. It will all depend on the final cost.

Dark Mode:

This is a simple one. Strava says it will roll out the much-requested ‘Dark Mode’ feature to its mobile apps this summer, which will automatically use your device’s general light/dark mode settings. Here’s a nice photo of it, including:

See, that was easy?

Night heat maps:

Then the company adds nighttime heat maps, which tell you which routes are better at night, especially between sunset and sunrise. The company placed this under the ‘Build for her’ category. Build for many”, a series of initiatives that, although aimed at women, are applicable/useful for many more people.

In the case of the nighttime heat maps, they describe them as follows:

Night Heatmaps only show activity between sunset and sunrise, so athletes can get an idea of ​​which roads, paths and trails are heavily trafficked after hours. Because Night Heatmaps filter for after-hours routes, it can be a useful tool for female athletes who train before sunrise and after sunset.

Again, this would be super useful, and honestly really cool to see the data – for both riding and running. Once you live in a particular location long enough, you tend to have your favorite night routes. But I would like to see which routes I never visit in the evening, but are actually well visited. Must be super interesting

New quick edit feature:

This next feature is a bit vague, at least at the moment. It’s called quick edits, and I’ll let Strava explain it again:

“For active women, it’s important to have control over what is shared with the Strava community that encourages them – such as what time a run is recorded. Quick Edit makes it easier to perform the most common edits, such as the activity name and privacy settings, so you can hide your start time, your map or other training stats.”

I suspect this will make things a bit more one-tap, rather than digging through a series of menus for some of these features. We’ll have to see, of course.

Athlete Intelligence:

Then there’s a whole range of coach-like features, which will look at your activities and then provide feedback/thoughts on them, looking at trends and other areas. Here are some screenshots the company released:

In it you can see the system at the top, which the company notes is not an AI chatbot at all as seen on Whoop or other platforms, but instead asks specific questions (“What’s your focus this week?”), and then follows with concrete responses. You can ask him to ‘say more’ and see more details. You can see how it pulls in existing data that Strava displays today, presumably in a more visible way than metrics hidden deep in pages you may never visit.

Of course, having an AI-powered thing is all the rage for tech companies. I appreciate that Strava doesn’t just add yet another useless AI-powered chatbot that constantly gives you bad training advice, but instead seems to reduce expectations and reach.

AI Leadership Integrity:

Last but not least, Strava has announced a new “AI-Enabled Leaderboard Integrity” system that will attempt to find more mistagged e-bike rides and airplane flights:

“The first of these updates, AI-enabled Leaderboard Integrity, will use machine learning to automatically flag irregular, unlikely or impossible activities recorded on the platform. Trained through millions of activities, this feature ensures that all users on Strava can play fairly and have more fun.”

It will be interesting to see how this goes. I hope this is an initiative that has been on the back burner for a while, but somehow continues to be postponed. After all, users have been begging for this kind of thing for a decade, so it’s not clear to me what has suddenly changed. Well, except for the new CEO. Which may be the only reason this is finally happening. It’s hope!

That makes this seem like a very solid start to things that people actually want. Because we wonder: can we finally group the triathlon data into one coherent activity, instead of splitting it into five activities? I mean, I’m just asking for a friend.

Thanks, and thanks for reading!

Did you find this post helpful? SUPPORT THE SITE!

Hopefully you found this post useful. The website is truly a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gives you an ad-free experience and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of ‘Shed Talkin”.

Support DCRainMaker – Shop on Amazon

Otherwise, maybe consider using the link below if you’re shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It won’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases will greatly support this website. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven that we use and love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *