Crashing companion app (iOS)

Hi, I’ve been having issues with the companion app on my iPhone crashing from within a workout, showing the main windows of the companion app. Often it will restart and throw me back into the workout after a couple of seconds. Though I always do need to go to garage and reconnect my heartrate (Apple Watch) manually in Zwift, that’s quite a few clicks on my laptop. And in order to do that, I need to slouch over and navigate the laptop, while for that sort of remote things I love the Companion app for…

My setup is:

  • Zwift on Windows Laptop
  • Zwift Companion on iPhone (13, newest iOS)
  • Heartrate via Apple Watch (series 7) to companion
  • the Zwift Hub is connecting to the Companion App (so no bluetooth to Zwift / Laptop connection!)

On a recent 2 hour workout, this happend a few times (10). It gets quite annoying after a while of having to reconnect my HR manually. Today, it happend after 5 minutes and did not seem to restart the workout on the companion app.

A couple of info’s:

  • phone and laptop are on the same WiFi
  • I shut off the laptop’s bluetooth completely, and nobody else was home today, to rule out interference (however, during some longer workouts a week ago, I had no issue connecting my headphones directly to the laptop bluetooth and watching a movie…)
  • today the bluetooth on my phone was active with headphones, apple watch.

I could try choosing the operating mode of “Pair with bluetooth”. Besides that, I’m at a bit of a loss of explanation. Are these common errors and annoyances? I have been thinking to get an ANT+ wrist strap and circumventing the Apple Watch reconnection annoyance. And running the rest (laptop = Zwift and phone = companion) purely via WiFi. Would that be a solution? Does anyone else have issues?

An arm band HRM you buy today could be paired via either Bluetooth or ANT+. I have no idea if that’s the issue though. Have you already reinstalled Companion?

I didn’t, but I have now. Won’t ride today anymore, but could post an update tomorrow!

Apple Watch can be problematic as a HRM. Is the Companion app stable if you don’t pair it as an HRM source?

I haven’t tried completely disconnecting the Apple Watch during training, but will try during my next endurance ride and report back!

I am having the issue remain. The companion app crashed twice within ca. 15 minutes, both times it restarted automatically within seconds. I am willing to ignore this behavior, IF: can someone please tell me that if I pair an ANT+ HR monitor with the Zwift Hub directly, will it automatically switch the HR back on after the companion app connection restarts? That’s all I want to know really. It’s so annoying having to go into the garage every time.

The issue persisted despite:

  • turning off bluetooth on the Apple Watch (thus breaking the iPhone - Apple Watch bluetooth connection)
  • turning off bluetooth completely in windows on my laptop (i.e. bridging the Zwift Hub sensors to Zwift via the companion app and thus via WiFi (5 GHz, 2 out of 3 bar quality))
  • turning off ALL bluetooth connections on my iPhone (headphones switched off too, they’re not browsing for connections this way) except for the mandatory Zwift Hub bluetooth connection (to the companion app)

Can someone please tell me how I can make my setup stable? A 2-3 second 0 watt gap is annoying, but not a problem. Let’s say I’m in a race and this happens during a sprint, I’d be more annoyed. Maybe it helps as well, but this problem has only been occurring for 1-2 weeks now. Before that I had zero problems with the same setup. (Despite HR dropping with Apple Watch sometimes (lack of sweat and positioning on top of the wrist))

Tomorrow I’ll try with having Zwift Hub connect to my laptop directly instead of via the companion app. Maybe that is a way to circumvent the issue.

For the last 9 days, the problem did not occur. I thought I solved it by using the “Pair via Zwift” option in the garage, i.e. not using the companion app as a bridge to the Zwift Hub. Unfortunately, after riding for 50 minutes today, the companion app crashed and restarted. I had to connect my Apple Watch HR again manually (go into options…), then it crashed twice more in the next 5 minutes and I lost patience.

I’m running out of options.

  1. As troubleshooted earlier, the issue occurred a) without the Apple Watch connected to the iPhone, b) without any additional bluetooth connections between Zwift Hub and laptop.
  2. The issue occurs with both connection options. (using companion app fully as a bridge to the Zwift game on my laptop, vs having Zwift Hub connect directly to the laptop game).

I conclude that there is an issue with the app. At this point I guess there is no solution for this. My only remaining question is: what is the most reliable way to connect a heart rate monitor, one where I do not have to go through the complicated way of manual reconnection after each crash of the app? Unfortunately I read that there is no way to connect any heart rate monitor directly to the Zwift Hub or the Zwift game on my laptop - installing the companion app is a prerequisite (per Zwift website “pairing a heart rate monitor” article).

Does anyone know if a heart rate monitor that is not the Apple Watch, will automatically connect with Zwift game after the companion app crashes?
I can take 3 crashes in 5 minutes, if it restarts quickly, but I can’t accept having to click through my laptop 3 times in order to get my HR data back. Thanks!