G6 & Smartphone decision

I’m planning to switch to the Dexcom G6 and to buy a smartphone. Should I get an iOS (ie Apple) phone or an android phone? Is the G6 app pretty much the same for either? What about non-Dexcom apps? For example, is xDrip still a big advance over Dexcom’s app and does it work with the G6? Are there any iOS apps as good as xDrip?

Just fyi, I’ve used Dexcom over many years (mostly G4 but recently G5) and I’m very happy with it. I’ve hung on to my Animas pump for years but will probably go with a Tandem soon. I’ve avoided getting a smartphone for years, but feel like the G6 (and pressure from family & friends) means that it’s time to relent and join the times. Finally, I love the idea of automated delivery but I don’t want to give up Dexcom for Medtronic sensors given what I’ve heard on this forum and elsewhere.

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xdrip works on Android pretty well. The G6 is supported. Android’s lead over iOS is substantial so there are apps (free) for just about anything you can dream up.

The Spike app is for iOS and it works with the G6. It’s a test app so you have to get an invite to use it but that is easy.

If you want to run the G6 original app, with the Dexcom algorithm then you need to go iOS for now. Android is probably just around the corner.
As for the free apps, I have tried both xDrip and Spike that Dave and Firenza suggested, but I prefer the original app. It’s all a question of taste.

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It looks like Android should be supported on the G6 for the mobile app?


If you want Apple to slow your phone down when it gets older to force you into a new one - go with IOS

Android all the way - no question - plus you can get a decent phone off Ebay for under 300 bucks.


I myself use a Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the G6. I also like Xdrip+ which works great with this phone. I even use a Huawai 2 watch which was recently discounted on Daily Steals. All work well together. The G6 itself lasts 10 days with absolutely NO calibration needed! And it is amazingly accurate, much more than the G4 and G5. Also lower profile so doesn’t stick out as much. Try it. You’ll LOVE IT!

And btw, the T:slim X2 integrates with the G6 and even has a suspend on low feature that just came out. The pump itself is software upgradable.


Those days are gone. Now Apple is trying to support older models for as long as possible and even use iOS updates to keep them running smoothly to prevent phones and iPads from ending up in landfills.


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The Apple battery replacement program runs through the end of this year. I intend to take advantage of it. Sounds like a good deal.

*Through December 31, 2018, the out-of-warranty battery service fee is $29 for all eligible iPhone 6 or later models. Battery service at $29 may be limited to one repair per iPhone. After December 31, 2018, the fee will change to $49 for all these products except iPhone X, which will change to $69.


I have a bridge to sell you

Why in the world would anyone buy or support a company that has ON PURPOSE forced older phones to run slower?

They are pathetic - they are arrogant to believe that every line of code is not examined the hour it comes out

It is almost the arrogance more then what they did that is so sad

Those days are gone - you must be making a joke

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. One more question…I think when I jump from no smartphone to smartphone I’ll also add a smartwatch so that I can look at my BG on my wrist. Does the Apple Watch pair just as well with an android phone as it does with an iPhone?

Only an iPhone

An extra comment from someone recently in the same situation.

The Dexcom range of supported smartphones is, basically, minute and you are looking at major money. It’s pretty obvious Apple have paid Dexcom a lot of money; their range of support iPhones includes some models that are available second hand at a semi-reasonably price ($90).

The choice with Android starts at $237 (best price I could find on Amazon US for a Dexcom supported phone.)

On the other hand xDrip+ has a much better interface than anything I’ve seen from the official Dexcom receiver or the Dexcom “clarity” website which in the way of our times claims to be something it is not; “obscurity” would be a better moniker. That said xDrip+ is a hacker app and while it works pretty well 14 year olds are probably required to help the rest of us use it.

Nevertheless xDrip+ potentially gives us the possibility to use a non-approved mobile. I’m still investigating this, since I gave up on the ridiculously overpriced kit Dexcom supports and bought something that actually worked for an active T1D, if, indeed, it can communicate with the transmitter. (I am running xDrip+; I’m a hack. So far I’ve had some problems, but that is typical of this scenario.)

If it doesn’t work I’ll probably buy an iPhone 5S as a repeater; $90 to connect to the transmitter, run tethered to my real smartphone if, indeed, xDrip+ works on Apple produce. I don’t think this is something you, or maybe anyone else, would be happy doing. Most of my check-in baggage on flights is electronic.

But the brief answer to you question is probably: don’t do that. This tech is way to early for someone to actually buy a smartphone for. So far as I can see from other comments, stick to the G5. It is basically identical to the G6 and the G6 does require calibration, unless you want to suffer serious hypos - the uncalibrated reading were way, way, off for me.

John Bowler

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Bear in mind that just because a particular piece of tech does not work for you does not mean that it does not work for others.

Certainly there are others having issues as there are with every approach, every drug and every piece of medical technology. Among other things, this is why choice is good.

The fact however is that the overwhelming majority of the Dexcom G6 users are not having problems. Including running the G6 in the default “no calibration” mode.

(Which is not meant to minimize the obvious and real issues you had with the G6)

Bear in mind that Apple products are EXCELLENT products for one reason - they just plain WORK. They are not good products for tinkerers, tweakers, or people who like to customize things. If you like Apple products, then get the best iPhone you can afford, add an iWatch and put the Dexcom G6 app on it and it will all work beautifully.

If you’re an Android user, you can either get an approved phone and watch and use Dexcom OR you can do like I do and use Xdrip+ . There are plenty of us techies here and on facebook that can help troubleshoot things for you. But there is a bit of a learning curve.

As far as the G5 vs G6 debate goes, I’ve had both and I’ve had numerous problems with my G6 sticking or not working for 10 days. But I absolutely LOVE it and wouldn’t go back to the G5 for 2 main reasons - the easy applicator and the ZERO calibrations. Every time I’ve spot checked it, it was within the 30 points margin of error.

Hope this helps.


Bear in mind that just because a particular piece of tech does not work for you

That’s not what I said. It is what you inferred because I criticised it. I’m a techie, I criticise everything but most particularly the stuff I know best (which is not, yet, either xDrip or the G6.)

Which is not meant to minimize the obvious and real issues you had with the G6

Eh? I’m going to take it that you mean “problems” since “issues” is such a loaded word in US English and I wouldn’t use the word problems either myself. As of this moment my HbA1c after my first month using the G6 has dropped from 7.3 in August of this year to 6.8 (both measured by my doctor/lab). I’m going to keep using it and that means I will keep criticising it, heavily.

The fact however is that the overwhelming majority of the Dexcom G6 users are not having >problems. Including running the G6 in the default “no calibration” mode.

The only advantage of the G6 that I am aware of is the “no calibration” stuff. On the other hand elsewhere on this list people observe how much EdgePark have been pushing people to “upgrade”.

The OP is using the G5, why on earth would she want to go out and buy a smartphone to “upgrade” to a G6? Surely only because “no calibration” is such a tempting thing?

The problem is that if you do not do multiple blood tests per day you do not have an accurate measure of the reliability. Over the last 30 days I was doing about 7 BG tests a day, more while running uncalibrated. I’ve stopped using my Omnipod PDM for BG tests - I swapped, today, to Contour Next One (better xDrip integration) but I did 219 tests over the last 30 days (including that one), so given that I did two today thats 217/29 per day, 7.48.

My current hypothesis is that the G6 is very sensitive to skin temperature and moderately sensitive to motion (perhaps this is the same thing.) I suspect the G5 is the same and I would see the same “issues”; an earlier version errored out after a couple of days with me, but for people who are not continuously exposing their body to different temperatures during the day (!babies, !office life) the one-per-day calibration of the G5 would probably be fine.

This is all hypothesis; it only gets any further if there are patterns that we can observe and fill in the gaps that the corporations won’t disclose for marketing reasons.

The thing all of us have to remember is that we are T1Ds and we will live with this for the rest of our lives. If we don’t fight now for the best we can get we won’t live to fight any more; this really is life or death.

I’ve known that since I was about 20 (I developed T1D at about 12) and have had various ways of coping with it. I’ve also done computers since about the same age and have done software seriously since I was 20 and I do know that most of the software written is utter garbage (including my own.) I also haven’t been afraid for the last 20 or so years of saying this.

Actually I quoted you.


Bash away.

G6 vs G5:

Every time I’ve spot checked it, it was within the 30 points margin of error.

I assume you mean percentage points. That matches what I saw; I don’t think it has been more than 30% out. I was also measuring against the Omnipod Abbot FreeStyle BG implementation and I’ve sort-of distrusted that for many years.

The specific problem I was alluding to was that 30% at 100mg/dl leaves you, not the G6, at 70mg/dl and about to go seriously low. (Hum, that is, of course, one of the problems with percentages - in scientific terms reporting 100mg/dl when the reading is actually 70mg/dl is a 43% error - this is why the ISO standard drops the percentage requirement at 100mg/dl.)

I do completely agree about xDrip+; I don’t know the history, NightScout have picked up the repo but it is clearly still very techie. This is why I made the recommendation to the OP; you can do iPhone 5S+G6, but still, why?

Incidentally, Apple shipped a piece of plastic with the Mac that you had to insert in the air vent to allow you to reboot it. Sometimes that disappeared, I got annoyed. High blood sugar probably.

Yes percentage points. sorry.Usually mine were within 5-10 points though.

I swapped from using the Abbott FreeStyle strips that are used by the built-in OmniPod meter to a newly purchased Counter Next One (BLE) tester a couple of days ago; about the same time I wrote what I wrote.

Now I am finding much more consistency with the (calibrated) G6 and the measured fingerstick readings. Indeed so long as my BG is 100mg/dl or more the readings are pretty much in step. Not only that, but the xDrip+ “calibration graph” shows close to a linear slope for calibrations above 100 (but the intercept is positive and significant :wink:

At, according to Bayer, 78 at 1:07AM this morning the CGM was at 88 (nice xDrip+, I have all this data!). After correcting for that xDrip+ has a slope of 1.19 on the calibration versus the internal (I assume corrected) transmitter readings (and the intercept is now negative.)

My current hypothesis is that using what seems to be a simple linear (2 point) correction fails for the G6 below 100mg/dl but at the same time I’ve forming the opinion that the long reported complaints about the Abbott FreeStyle system inside the Omnipod are well founded.

John Bowler