xDrip vs Dexcom G5 Mobile App

It seems like xDrip has a number of features the Dexcom App does not.
From what I gather, they are:

  1. xDrip collects data from the transmitter all the time until you tell it to start a new warmup period. So, after seven days if the sensor is still working fine there is no need to stop/restart, you can just keep getting data until you are ready to insert a new sensor.
  2. xDrip includes a graph showing the action of your insulin and your insulin on board overlaid with the sensor data.
  3. xDrip makes predictions about how soon your blood sugar will go low if you don’t do anything.

Is what I’ve written above accurate? Is there anything else major? Do the Dexcom app and xDrip+ interpret the data from the transmitter in pretty much the same way and give the same numbers?

As you may have read in my previous post, I’m deciding between sticking with good 'ole reliable G4 or going the smartphone/G5 route. xDrip seems the primary reason to switch and I’ve looked at the xDrip+ download site, but I have to admit I’m not totally clear on what the features of xDrip are and what features Dexcom’s mobile app has.

By the way, are there IOS apps that make use of the G5 mobile data to do some of things that xDrip does – like graph the action of insulin, or is xDrip far and away the best app out there to show and predict what’s going on with your insulin and blood sugars.

Thanks to all of you who have given me advice on the G4/G5 decision. I really appreciate your time and knowledge. I like to be as informed as possible before making a decision. (You can ask my wife. It takes me a month to buy a humidifier :slight_smile: )

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I don’t use xdrip to track IOB. So I am no help there.
But the algorithms are not the same for Dexcom and Xdrip.
I have ran them both and they are different.
I have found that for me, the xdrip will read either a little higher when my BG is high, or a little lower when my BG is low.
I have also learned to calibrate LESS with the xdrip, and it will work much better. I sometimes go days without calibrating it.

@Tnyc xDrip+ does so much more than you have noted.
–I’ve had a G5 transmitter last for 193 days, almost double the life you can get with the Dexcom receiver or app.
–Install the app and look at less common settings> extra status line, and you will find many more statistics to be displayed besides IOB.
– You get daily, 7-, 30-, and 90 day statistics, including 10/90%, 25/50% and median overlay plots, circle graph of percentage in, high or low, and calculation of a1c, SD, %CV, GVI and PGS.

–There are multiple algorithms that can be used that are tailored to different situations, so you’re not stuck with one size fits all.
-The ease of treatment entry makes you much more likely to use it and have the attendant statistics be meaningful
–If you are so inclined, xDRIP+ integrates with your smart watch, including the ability to use the watch as the collector (receiver) without the phone connected.

–the sharing capabilities are way more advanced than Dexcom Share, if you have the need for this.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Compared to xDrip+ the Dexcom app is merely a toy.

We (my DD and I) really liked Xdrip. There was so much more to it and more customizable than the Dexcom app. If it was her alone using it, we’d choose Xdrip. However, two important points made us switch to the Dexcom app. 1. The ability to share with another is very poor (at least in our geographical area) with Xdrip. The only time I could get reliable data from her was when I was in good Wifi. 2. Three transmitters in a row died at the 1 month mark + or - a week. I wasn’t sure if this was a coincidence, but the life of the battery just plummeted with xdrip after a short time. Dexcom replaced them because the receiver confirmed the bad battery, but I am not convinced it wasn’t something to do with how xdrip behaved.


I don’t understand how it could be any different than with the Dexcom app. There are two ways to share with xDrip+. First is with a sync group, with the xDrip+ app on both phones one being the master and the other the follower. Both phones will show the exact same data. The other way is through the Dexcom Share servers, exactly the same way the Dexcom app does it. Both require an internet connection, either Wi-Fi or data.

The xDrip+ app places a lighter load on the transmitter battery than the Dexcom app because there is only one way communication in xDrip+, while Dexcom communicates bidirectionally with the transmitters. Basically, xDrip+ passively receives the transmitter signal, it doesn’t pull or push anything to or from the transmitter.

I’m a little concerned that Xdrip uses a different algorithm as I find that the algorithm my G4 receiver uses seems pretty accurate. Plus, when my blood sugar is low, my receiver already reads a little lower than my contour meter (I’ve always assumed that this was a safety thing so that the receiver doesn’t miss a low). If the xDrip reads lower still I think I could be needlessly alarmed. (Even when my contour and my own symptoms say that my blood sugar is 73, if my receiver tells me I’m at 55 I just feel that little bit panicked.)

Can you have the G5 transmitting to a smartphone with the xDrip app at the same time that you have a Dexcom receiver giving its readout?

The G5 will pair with two separate things at once without a problem. Either the receiver or, in my case, my Tandem X2 pump.
Then the phone can be on Xdrip. This does not cause a problem.
If you try and run dexcom and xdrip on the phone at the same time though, you will have a number of issues with spotty reception (especially with xdrip.).
I have ran the G5 transmitting to my X2 pump and xdrip on my phone for a while and it works fine.

About the different algorithm, I have found3 that in my case, if I calibrate my xdrip the same as I do the dexcom, it will be further off.
If I calibrate xdrip only once a day, or less (I have went all weekend without a calibration, and on Monday morning I was only a few points off of my meter reading.)
Point is, with xdrip, don’t calibrate that often.

We used the master/follower method and while my dd got perfect uninterrupted dots, mine often had missing data and only updated when my data signal was very strong or I was in a WiFi Zone.

Speaking of data…do you need an unlimited plan for your smartphone or, if you’re in range of the G5 (and not following from the cloud) is it just bluetooth and doesn’t count towards data used? Excuse my ignorance in these matters. I’m assuming it’s just like connecting to bluetooth headphones or something – i.e. no cellular data is used.

Dexcom Transmitter to Smartphone is bluetooth. Short range. 20 feet more or less. This does not use “data” from a plan nor use wifi.

The Smartphone will then use wifi or “data” to transmit up to the Dexcom Clarity servers. However this transmission is quite small compared to streaming music or anything like that.

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Can anyone explain what the OB1 collector option does in xDrip? I was having trouble getting my Samsung Galaxy S7 to connect and turned that option on. It worked flawlessly but the problem was my Pebble watch would vibrate every 5 minutes with a notification showing the current reading and delta. When I turned the OB1 option off I was consistently getting readings every 10 minutes instead of 5. I installed the latest OS update on my phone and things seem to be back to normal, but wondering what OB1 does and if there is a way to enable it without watch notifications every time xDrip gets a reading.

If you don’t get a solution here, the Facebook group called xdrip g5 is very helpful.

Thanks Sprocket! I think I sorted the problem out, it turns out I was using a beta/pre-release version of xDrip+ that I had upgraded to before my problems started. I deleted it, re-installed the first version I had been using and so far so good! I am able to use the OB1 collector without watch vibrations every 5 minutes now!