Recent Companion App/Apple TV bluetooth problems connecting


(John Morgan) #1

Apologies for the long description - Short version is: what has changed with Zwift  such that it now has trouble connecting to all my devices without a lot of restarting of everything? It used to work fine. This is a new issue.

I use Zwift on Apple TV so rely on the Zwift companion app on iOS on iPhone 8 to connect with a Kickr Snap, Wahoo Blue SC cadence & speed, and Polar H10 HR. Zwift sees 4 devices: Snap as 2 (power source and controllable), Cadence sensor, and HR sensor.

Up til a few weeks ago, I think a recent update (or maybe when Companion App changed its name/function? about the same time it stopped remembering my login which is also annoying not sure) I never had any problems connecting everything, I’d start Zwift app, it would instantly pick up the Kickr Snap as a power source, and connect to all the other sensors without having to re-pair anything. All 4 boxes would go blue without me having to fiddle with anything.

But now I start Zwift on AppleTV and it sits at the first screen asking tap to pair one of either a power source or speed sensor. I choose power source, it sits there searching. I then have to spend ages turning everything off and on over and over in different order just to get everything to connect. If one device connects the others don’t.  I know the problem is not the devices because if I start up their Apps on the iPhone all the devices connect fine. The last few times the only way I have got it to work was by starting up wahoo app, leaving it running and switching app to Zwift companion to force it to reconnect. Then do the same with Polar app. And repeat until Zwift manages to recognise one without losing the other. I’m spending longer setting up than riding.

Any suggestions for cause or a fix? Anyone else had similar issues?

I’ll repeat I have not changed my hardware, and not changed software apart from auto-app-updates on the phone, so it must be a software issue, right? The main plus point of zwift for me was that it worked with Apple TV- I’d rather not have to put a noisy & expensive PC under my 4K TV just to run Zwift!


(David K) #2

I’d recommend force-stopping Zwift and unplugging your AppleTV for at least two minutes.
https://www.howtogeek.com/232960/how-to-force-quit-an-app-on-your-apple-tv/

After booting it back up and before attempting to pair your iPhone again, please ensure your Mobile Data Network is completely disabled, the iPhone is connected to the same WiFi network as your AppleTV, and that your phone doesn’t have other nearby WiFi networks memorized. If it does, please forget saved credentials.

Before attempting to re-pair your sensors, please make sure your Wahoo app isn’t paired to any of your sensors (unpair them if need be) and ensure it’s not running in the background. While you’ve reported some luck using the app to pair to Zwift, it’s likely doing more to complicate the process.

If your AppleTV is in an entertainment center, please make sure it has plenty of breathing space and line-of-site access to your sensors if possible.

Please let me know if you continue experiencing pairing concerns after troubleshooting a bit.

Ride On!


(Marcus Judge) #3

I’ve been having similar very aggravating problems. I got advice from the help desk to fire up the companion app before starting the ATV app. This worked for a while but not today. I’ve spent 40 minutes now turning things off and on, rebooting etc with no joy. The ATV app wants to do the connections even though the companion app is up and running. Not only does this prevent me from connecting 3 devices (Kickr, HR and cadence) it also has now stopped recognising the kickr at all! And there seems to be no way to tell Zwift that I want to connect using the companion app. There is something wrong with the software if it’s this complicated. Rather than telling us to power off the ATV (which didn’t work anyway) it’d be better to fix it. Is there a way to prioritise connecting via the companion app?


(David K) #4

That’s relatively common behavior, actually. AppleTV has a few limitations on how Bluetooth devices can be connected. AppleTV allows two Bluetooth connections and expects those to be utilized before you’ll be able to pair through Zwift Companion.

Even though you do have to pair your Kickr as both Power Source and Controllable in Zwift, it really only counts as a single Bluetooth connection. Since you’re only trying to pair two Bluetooth devices; your Kickr and HRM, you won’t have the option to pair through Zwift Companion even if it’s connected.

If you’d like us to consider adding the option to manually select bluetooth connection preferences in Zwift, our developers like to scour our Feature Request forums for new projects.
https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/200166935


(Marcus Judge) #5

Thank you for the quick reply David. I feel I should respond to round out my experiences somewhat. I don’t think there’s just one specific technical issue here, but a messy mix which is leading people like John (original poster) and me down an awful rabbit hole.

I have 3 devices to connect - Kickr for both power and controllable, Tickr for HR and my bike power meter (4iii) for cadence. So I need to use the companion app to do that.

While on a few blessed occasions everything has just worked and I’ve been up and riding within minutes, at the other end, I once spent 90 minutes going backwards and forwards, reading forums like this one, turning things and off, before finally giving up.

Now that my unwanted journey into the depths of computing connectivity knowledge has progressed, I realise there are a lot of complexities. This is pretty contrary to the purported simplicity of Zwift, which for me and others is part of its appeal.

One of the problems I’ve experienced a few times is the companion app itself not connecting to the TV. Yesterday this went away when I put it on Airplane mode - which doesn’t seem like it should be necessary, and hadn’t been something I’d done before. In the past, it sometimes just worked straight away, and at other times I just kept flicking back and forth, turning things on and off, and eventually it would work.

Another issue I’ve had is the sensors being connected to other apps from when my wife has been using them for her training - a Bluetooth limitation I know, but not something that everyone will know.

Here’s what I think Zwift could do to make the experience more enjoyable:

  • gather all the issues and remedies relating to Apple TV and the Companion App into one place and make it easy to find

  • make it simple to choose whether to connect sensors using the ATV app or the  companion app

  • make the companion app to ATV app pairing more robust

 


(Roger Schenone) #6

Major problems with Zwift and Apple TV (v4) the past two sessions.  When i start Zwift the connection window reports that Apple TV connections are full and do I want to use the Companion app.   However, when I look at my Apple TV bluetooth connections, there are no other devices connected.   It is great getting up at 5AM only to fight Zwift to work - and actually never does.  

At one point, Zwift connected to my Apple TV but for only a few minutes and then dropped it again.  This only further convinces me that the issue is with Zwift and not my Apple TV (which is about three months old).

How do i fix this?   I want to workout and not struggle to get Zwift working.    And the companion app does not work to bridge any connections.  That has been a major disappointment since converting from the mobile link.


(David K) #7

The vast majority of issues connecting Zwift Companion to Zwift or pairing properly stem from your Zwift Companion device disconnecting from the proper WiFi network or falling back to using your Mobile Data network instead. Both will force Zwift Companion to completely disconnect and any pairings you’ve made through it will fail too.

I’d like you to try turning on airplane mode to eliminate the chance that your mobile app is trying to connect from mobile data. First, make sure the Zwift Companion app and Zwift are closed, then do the following:

  1. Enable Airplane Mode on your Zwift Companion device.
  2. Access your smartphone’s settings screen.
  3. Re-enable WiFi and ensure your smartphone connects to the same WiFi network Zwift is using.
  4. While you’re in your WiFi settings, if your phone has any other WiFi networks in the area memorized, please forget them.
  5. Re-enable Bluetooth if you plan on pairing devices through Zwift Companion or would like that option.

Generally, you won’t need to go through that whole process every time. You’ll just need to ensure your Mobile Data network access is completely disabled.

If your Companion App still remains stuck on the Home screen or won’t pair with Zwift, it may have something to do with firewall settings built into your WiFi router. Zwift utilizes port 3022 over UDP and port 21587 over TCP. Adding a few rules to your router firmware may be the solution.


(Marcus Judge) #8

Hi Roger. Ditto re airplane mode. It seems to have resolved most of my problems.

There are other issues that may come up - principally, that the sensors are already connected to other apps or devices. Bluetooth is monogamous - can only do 1 to 1 - and so if you use your sensors on other platforms, you need to disconnect from those places first.

There is also, if all else fails, the hard reboot option. Won’t help if there’s a separate undisclosed failure point of course.

Here is the sequence I now use.

1 Ensure the sensors aren’t connected to other gadgets or apps, such as a bike computer or another cycling app.

2 Put the phone on airplane mode.

3 Fire up the companion app and wake up all the sensors before launching Zwift on the ATV.

4 This should mean that the sensors are all available and that the ATV starts by using the companion app (rather than itself) for connecting sensors.

5 If you want to go back to square one, you can force close the companion app and the ATV app and try again. See the following for how to force close an ATV app. https://www.imore.com/how-use-multitasking-siri-remote-apple-tv

6 You could also power off the ATV and wait for a while before going round the loop again.


(Giorgio Milo) #9

I have the same problem. Everything works if I use only the Wahoo KICKR and the Cadence Sensor with the Apple TV. If I try to connect also the HR monitor I receive an error message of too many Bluetooth devices from the Apple TV, and I have not been able to connect with the Companion. Even with the companion I just can connect the HR monitor or the sensor, not both


(David Keane) #10

Hi,

I’m having a similar  problem. Very erratic pairing and I have to power on/off a few times to get it to work, not every time but more often than not. I also have a climb unit and sometimes the Kicker works but the climb will not move regardless of gradient change. 

I only have a cadence sensor and the Kickr so as I’m within the two devices limit I pair directly to Zwift and I don’t use or open the companion app.

 

I had been using a PC last year using a Tacx and never had an issue, just powered up and work away. Since changing to Apple TV with Wahoo Kickr and climb its been a lot of trouble. The fact I’ve changed everything I’m slightly lost if the issue is on the Wahoo or Zwift side? 

I’d appreciate any advice  

 

 


(Giorgio Milo) #11

I am now using my IPhone to connect the Kickr, the cadence and the HR monitor sensors, using AirPlay to duplicate the IPhone screen to the Apple TV. Everything works much better this way