WHOOP Strap 3.0 Bluetooth Low Energy Tips and Tricks

June 20, 2019

We are very excited to see so many WHOOP Strap 3.0s lighting up in the hands of our customers. Our team has been carefully reviewing diagnostic information, social media channels, and support tickets, and we'd like to share with you some tips and tricks to get the best performance (specifically regarding data transfer) with your new 3.0. Additionally, know that our engineers are hard at work on app and firmware updates to keep enhancing your experience with WHOOP!

Because of advances in our engineering, algorithms, and data architecture, the 3.0 is able to make use of the much more power efficient Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). With this technology, there are some differences with how the Strap behaves compared to the 2.0, which uses Bluetooth Classic (2.1). This post specifically refers to how the 3.0 and BLE work with iOS, the operating system for iPhones.

 

Tips for Best Performance

To get the best possible performance from your WHOOP, please always ensure that you are running the latest version of the app (currently v2.0.2) and have updated your Strap’s firmware to the latest version (currently v8.16.3.0). You can check the Strap firmware by going to the Menu in the app and tapping on Strap Settings.

Both the 2.0 and 3.0 aim to always keep you up to date with your data and should require minimal, if any, user intervention. We accomplish this by taking advantage of the WHOOP App running in the background on iOS and periodically waking up to transfer data with the Strap and send it to our servers. However, one major difference between the 2.0 and 3.0 is how Bluetooth Low Energy devices, like the 3.0, interact with the iPhone. With the 3.0, it is best to always keep the app running in the background. By “swiping up” on the app to terminate it, you are indicating to the operating system that you, as the user, no longer wish the app to continue running. See for example, this response from Apple:

“When a user force quits an app, the system accepts this as a signal that the user no longer wishes this app to be running, also in the background. There are a very limited number of cases in which an app will be relaunched after a force quit.”

While the app is in the background, we have configured our application in such a way and in accordance with Apple iOS developer rules, to periodically wake up and ask the Strap for data. This does not happen after the app is force quit by a user. If you are having data lag issues, please ensure you are not force quitting your WHOOP App when you intend it to be running in the background. iOS is very good at managing apps in the background to ensure they do not consume large amounts of energy or data.

Additionally, check to make sure that you are not running iOS in Low Power Mode or have disabled Background Fetches for the WHOOP App since these settings tell the iOS to significantly throttle how often and how long WHOOP will be allowed to run in the background. You can view these settings by going to the Settings on your iPhone and checking Battery (for Low Power Mode) and General > Background App Refresh.

 

Re-pairing a 3.0

If you lose connection to your 3.0, or feel like you have ensured the preceding conditions are met but are still having a Bluetooth issue, the best thing to do is reconnect your 3.0 to the phone. Just like most other technologies, sometimes the easiest and best solution is to “turn it on and off.” To do this:

1. In the WHOOP App, go to Strap Settings -> Advanced Settings -> Unpair Strap
2. On iOS (out of the WHOOP App), go to your iPhone Settings -> Bluetooth → Tap on your WHOOP Strap → “Forget This Device" (In our experience, you may have to do this step twice. You can confirm this worked when you no longer see your WHOOP Strap in the "My Devices" section).
3. For good measure, restart your iPhone.
4. Take the Strap off of your wrist and make sure off-wrist mode is activated (the green LEDs on the bottom turn off). Tap the Strap repeatedly in order to put the Strap in pairing mode (you'll see the white lights chasing up and down the Strap).
5. In the WHOOP App, go to Strap Settings -> Pair with a Whoop Strap -> Select your Strap number and tap on it. An additional dialog box will appear asking you to confirm pairing to this device. Click yes and now you should be paired.

 

Strap 2.0 Connections with the New WHOOP App for iOS

To reconnect a 2.0 with the new WHOOP App (v2.0.0 and greater), please follow these steps:
1. Make sure to update your app to at least v2.0.2 from the app store.
2. Go to the Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and Forget Device on the WHOOP Strap. Confirm it no longer appears in the list of "My Devices" in the Bluetooth Settings.
3. For good measure, restart your iPhone.
4. Now, go to the WHOOP App. In the menu, go to Strap Settings → Pair with a WHOOP Strap → Need Help? in blue text on the bottom of the screen. Choose Pairing a WHOOP Strap 2.0. Give it about 5 seconds. The phone has stopped looking for Gen 3s and enabled the different Bluetooth version for Gen 2 (you won't notice anything, but it's working in the background!)
5. Now, go to your BT settings on your iPhone by minimizing the WHOOP App (make sure not to kill or "swipe up" on the WHOOP App at this stage). Tap the Strap repeatedly while it's off your wrist to enable pairing mode (you'll see the white lights chasing up and down the Strap). The Strap should appear in the list of "Other Devices." Click it and confirm it goes to the "My Devices" section and says Connected.
6. Re-open the WHOOP App. The screen should notify you that a Strap has been connected after about 5-10 seconds.

 

Data Catchup

The good news is that even if you find yourself behind on data for any reason, the 3.0 is very speedy to transfer data and catch back up. Our internal testing and benchmarking has shown that 8 hours of data can be transferred from the WHOOP Strap to the WHOOP App in under 13 minutes on modern iPhones (iPhone 8 and newer).

 

Constant Improvements

As always, our engineers are working non-stop to ensure our users have the best experiences. We are carefully reviewing all issues and working on improving the reliability and data transfer rates while also developing several exciting new features! If you do have an issue that can’t be solved by walking through the steps above, please contact our support team by emailing support@whoop.com from the Help section of the app. Emailing support is the best option to get your issue resolved because when you send a support request from the App (Menu > Help > Email Support) we automatically attach a diagnostic log which helps us pinpoint the issue.

 

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John Capodilupo

John Capodilupo (4 Articles)

John Capodilupo dropped out of Harvard to co-found WHOOP and help athletes optimize training and recovery. As Chief Technology Officer of WHOOP, Capo marries his passion for mathematics, statistics, and computers with the intuition and knowledge that being the son of an academic physiologist brings to designing and implementing the technical and physiological backbone of the WHOOP system. Capo is an alumnus of elite research networks like the Research Science Institute (RSI) and the Intel Science Talent Search, as well as a Forbes '30 under 30' entrepreneur. Outside of work, Capo is an avid weightlifter and World of Warcraft player.

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