Using Companion APP

First off, I’m no tech-wizard. Second off, I’m relatively new to Zwift. 1) There is either a technical issue I don’t understand, or 2) there is a software issue that, to me, seems antiquated.

My understanding is that to use ZC for the ultimate riding experience that you have to run 1) a smart trainer, 2) a computer running Zwift and 3) a second computer device running ZC.

In a nutshell do I have that correct? If not, then what am I missing. And, yes, I’ve read countless Zwift instructions on this. But if I’m wrong I’d like to know.

On the other hand, if I’m correct then it seems antiquated that anyone should have to run two (2) computer devices for this experience. Why is this? Can’t a single piece of software be able to do the trick of interactive Zwifting?

In my case I log into Zwift with my handheld Iphone device. I have a direct (wired) connection with my smart TV and a wireless connection to my Wahoo Kickr bike. This is how I Zwift. It seems very clumsy to me that I should have to have an additional computer to log onto Zwift and then use a second electronic device to get the interactive benefits of ZC.

So what do I have wrong? What am I misunderstanding?

The only thing I think you might be incorrect about is the need for a smart trainer. I think the ZC app will work just fine without it.

In general, though, I think the need for a second device to run the ZC app is because the Zwift app generally takes up the full screen on whatever device it is being run, and that device is also often beyond an arm’s length of the Zwifter. The ZC app then allows the user to interact with the game in ways that are not otherwise available (like giving ride-on bombs, or viewing the workout screen). The ZC app is also available when not in-game for things like searching and signing up for events.

The ZC app is, of course, not necessary when using Zwift (I regularly do not use it because I am Zwifting in my iPad and watching GCN on Apple TV), but it can be beneficial at some points (especially for chat).

I understand ZC can be run by itself with no smart trainer. My question was not about that. Zwift can also be run without a smart trainer. I’m also not talking about that.

My question is about using ZC for the riding experience. For that you have to have a smart trainer, which I have in my Wahoo Kickr bike.

What I don’t understand is why the need for two (2) additional electronic devices running software; a computer and mobile device. This just seems antiquated.

Is Zwift working on software that would require just a single device paired with our smart bikes?

But there isn’t a ‘need’ for two additional devices. There is only a need for something on which to run Zwift. The ZC app is in no way required, whether you have a smart trainer, or not. (Well, it might actually be required for calibration of the new Zwift smart trainer, if you buy one of those.)

I guess I’m not really sure how this is different than using something like a Garmin. I need a bike, then I need the Garmin, then I need something to upload the data from the Garmin (either a computer or a mobile device) to services like Garmin Connect or Strava.

Maybe I’m just misunderstanding your question, though.

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My understanding is that ZC offers greater interactivity during group rides and/or meet ups. Insofar as I can tell, you can’t get that greater interactivity without running two (2) computers; one running Zwift and the other running ZC.

If my assessment is correct, then why? That just seems antiquated.

I can’t recall anyone from Zwift mentioning it. My guess is probably not given everything else on their plate. The “nearby” table in the game shows who is using companion, so it’s clear that many users don’t use it.

That seems really odd to me that Zwift developed ZC with greater interactivity useful for group rides that it did not build into (or add to) the Zwift software.

This means users have the additional burden of having to use not one (1) but two (2) computer devices together with their smart trainers in order to have the greater interactivity.

Right now on group rides, without using ZC, the only way to interact with other riders is to manually keyboard comments. Just feels like I’m using a manual Corona typewriter (an actual impact machine!) to communicate with other riders.

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This is not incorrect. On the flipside, though, even if the methodology for chatting ‘in-game’ was improved, there would likely be a cohort of people complaining that the on-screen chat takes up too much of the screen. There is likely no single way that will please everyone.

Personally I like the companion app because I use ATV (and if you think chatting when running on a PC/Mac is rough, try it on an ATV!!), so having the ZC on my tablet or phone gives me an easy way to interact.

Plus, I’m guessing the general consensus is that almost everyone has a mobile device these days, so why not make use of it?

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True, but as a user of the companion app, I generally have more complaints about things that exist in the game but not in the companion app, such as the drop shop and garage - things that I would happily browse on companion when not riding, but would not bother to launch the game to do if not riding. These disconnects are just part of being a user of the product.

The companion app actually doesn’t do much that a combo of the main app & Zwift website doesn’t - outside of the clubs functionality & event search, which are primarily offline function and don’t require a second device. Directing messages to a single user is one, mass ride-on giving is another. I can’t think of much else that’s actually different - it’s mostly just different presentation of the same information.

The biggest reason the companion app was introduced, I think, is that many people don’t have access to an input device to the device running Zwift while riding. It’s an input device, but happens to display things in a different way as well.

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I use my mobile device to run Zwift.

To use my mobile device to run ZC I’d have to ALSO run a second computer to run Zwift. This seems antiquated to me.

Also, it’s true that a constant stream of chatter (commenting) can be mildly irritating, which is why there should be a way to disable comments if this feature does not already exist.

Zwift is a 3D game, the Companion app is literally what it says it is. It’s not antiquated at all for both to exist, quite the opposite. The functionality in the app could be a lot better though.

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It does exist in the settings menu, you can disable chat.

Right now both the Zwift app and ZC have an interactive feature.

As I understand it, with ZC there is a voice input feature to converse with other riders during group rides or meet ups. With the Zwift app conversing is purely keyboarding.

To have the greater interactive feature of voice input you have no choice but running two devices, one with Zwift and the second with ZC. For the life of me I don’t see why both these apps don’t have the voice input feature.

ZC doesn’t have voice input, aside from it typically being on a phone. You seem to be vastly overestimating what it actually does when you’re in the game.

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No there is no such option. Only voice to text but you can do it on the main PC running Zwift if you want to.

I think that’s my whole point, particularly with the interactive feature to converse with other riders during events or meet ups.

I meant stuff like the garage etc, that could/should be in the Companion app. What interactive feature are you referring to? :thinking:

No, the voice input is native to the phone operating systems, not part of the Zwift Companion app. You should be able to do that if you’re running the Zwift application on your phone.


I have been on Zwift from the beta days and ride most days, the only thing that I may use the ZC app while riding is to give ride ons to many people (ride on bomb).

Where ZC is very helpful is when you are not riding for things like setting up group rides entering events.