Dexcom suddenly using up my phone's battery

I’ve been using my Dexcom and Tandem pump for a couple of years now. The phone apps for both have always worked quietly in the background with surprisingly little battery drain. Suddenly, though, in the last couple of weeks, my phone battery is draining really fast and the battery meter says Dexcom is the primary driver. Supposedly just in the last few hours, Dexcom has used up 54% of my phone’s battery charge, and t:connect has used 15%. I don’t know why. They’re not doing anything other than getting the usual updates every few minutes. Usually that’s around 5% at most. I don’t know what changed.

Anyone else have a similar issue?

@WearsHats phone batteries deteriorate over time. Check your battery health. When my phone does that I turn it off and back on again. Dexcom isn’t zero but it should be reasonable. My battery usage since 5AM (13 hours) is 11% background activity.

Lithium batteries don’t lose their ability to hold a charge the way NiCad batteries used to, although the battery meter becomes less accurate over time. Maybe the battery is worn out, though? The phone is almost 4 years old. But the change shouldn’t be this drastic and sudden. And rebooting hasn’t helped. The phone has shut down overnight several times because the battery that used to have 20+ hours of standby time now completely discharges in less than 9. I have to recharge it several times a day.

Paul-Gabriel, I have noticed the same with my Galaxy S-10.
I’ve tried restart, shutdown, and reset - none of those three things changed the behavior. Tomorrow I’m going to uninstall Dexcom and then reinstall after a shutdown and short wait. Later I’ll do the same with Tandem.

I’m using an S10e. Let me know how yours goes. Maybe it’s a software issue with the August 1st system update?

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Paul @WearsHats, the uninstall of Dexcom Mobile G6, shutdown of my S-10, open snd install a fresh Dexcom mobile appears to fix the battery drain; although my new installation has only been for about 10 hours. I’m hopeful!

Thanks for giving me the tip about the August 1st update - I hadn’t thought of that.

Information to have on-hand for installing the new Dexcom Mobile:

  • Dexcom user name and password
  • Serial Number for current transmitter
  • Four digit sensor code

Thanks for the promising Uninstall/Reinstall experiment, Dennis.

Just adding my data points: same exact issue on 2 identical Galaxy S10s. I’m using Omnipod system; my wife is with Tandem. Her phone battery is the original, mine was replaced a year ago.

I noticed the battery drain (and much hotter phone temp) NOT after the system update, but after the Dexcom update a few days later. I isolated the problem to Dexcom (not WiFi, mobile, or any other data service) by doing a force stop of Dexcom and Share/Follow apps.

I’m about to follow Dennis’s experiment. I’ll keep all-y’all posted.

(This forum was far more helpful the the techno-challenged, non-diabetic Luddite who answered the phone at Dexcom “support.” Thank you.)

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I tried it last night. I noticed battery usage was up for t:connect, as well, and that the Roku TV app (which is not supposed to even have permission to run in the background) was somehow using battery power again, too. I reinstalled all three and left my phone unplugged overnight. Despite the phone’s estimate that a full charge would last about 10 hours, in those 10 hours it went from 90% to 35%. Still faster than I’d like, but a major improvement over the whole battery draining to zero in about 5 hours. Thanks, Dennis!

Only thing is that Dexcom is still listed as having used up 32% of my battery power since the last full charge.We’ll see how things go over the next couple of days.

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… And my battery is right back to draining like a sieve.

Mine is back to draining too, but not quite as fast.
Dexcom G6 is at the top of the pack.

I have an iPhone and find that resetting my network settings helps solve a myriad of problems that don’t seem (to my mind :wink:) to be related to networks. I don’t know if it will help here but thought I would mention it just in case.

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Thanks, Dorrie, but Android doesn’t have that bug, in my experience. This is a completely different bug.

Interestingly, my phone battery drained much more slowly overnight. But as soon as I turned on the screen and started poking at things, battery power fell off a cliff. It went from 100% to 73% in 6 hours (I unplugged it in the middle of the night) and then dropped to 53% in the half hour after I woke up. The battery meter says Dexcom used 28% of my battery charge in those 7 hours, and 76% of a full charge in the last 18 hours.

Sorry that didn’t help. Hopefully you don’t have to replace your phone. Can you just switch out the battery? I had a Samsung a long time ago and you could pop in a new one if the old one would no longer hold its charge.

Unfortunately not. Replaceable batteries require that you be able to open the case. Demand for waterproof phones overshadowed that. They tried making cases you could open that had waterproof gaskets, but you had to close it just right and too many people didn’t.

Phone design has really gone backwards, IMO. You can find a phone with a headphone jack. You can find one with at least 6GB of RAM. You can, I think, find one with an SD card slot. My phone has all three, which is why I’m still using it. But I had to give up on replaceable batteries. The best current generation phone with a headphone jack only has 4GB of RAM. Finding one that has a headphone jack and SD card slot means giving up even more in terms of performance and features.

This phone is 4 years old, and came out just before 5G was rolled out. It doesn’t get OS updates anymore. Just security patches. Tandem isn’t bothering to test it for the remote bolus feature. But there’s nothing newer that’s worthy to replace it.

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Out of curiosity checked mine and only 4% was dexcom. I have an older apple cell as wanted small so iPhone 8 (has sev names) but battery in general burns easily. But dexcom seems normal.

My reinstall gives same results as all-y’all report; it helped a little bit (at first) then right back to quickly draining. Apparently there’s a risk that the reinstalled G6 app won’t resume the current sensor session. (My G6+OmniPod resumed, my wife’s G6+Tandem did not…had to start a new sensor.)

As for removable batteries, one of the many things I miss from my Palm phones was removable and extra batteries. The only modern equivalent is a “battery bank.”

I’ve used a 10,000 mAh battery bank for years as emergency power for my string quintet’s digital sheet music. It’s capable of fully charging 3 devices (phones or tablets). It’s been a God-send when playing long wedding gigs in bad temperatures (or when a child has drained Mom or Dad’s tablet, unbeknownst, just before a rehearsal!)

Tricked Out Accessories sells mine for $69 (I just called to check. Their website seems to be down today.) If you’re not in the Mountain-West (where every mall seems to have this store), you’ll have to research it with the offerings at Amazon and other web-sites. The important factors: a big mili-Amp-hours (mAh) number, the number/types of connections, and how many can be used simultaneously.

If your phone is 4+ years old, your battery is probably shot.

I had a Note 10 whose battery started draining quickly last year. I got a new phone (in part so I could start using Tandem’s bolus from phone which would not work on a Note 10), but then found out that I could have had the battery replaced for about $100 (much less than the cost of my new phone).

So, I suggest you have your battery checked. If it is bad, have it replaced or get a new phone, whichever seems the better choice.

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The battery doesn’t hold a charge quite as well as it used to, but that’s not the problem. This is a specific app suddenly using a lot more background battery power than it used to, causing the battery to drain several times faster than it did a few weeks ago, and it’s happening to multiple people.

Hopefully, you can find the answer soon. If not your problem may get solved in the next few months by switching to the Dexcom G7 and its app when Tandem releases its updated software that allows integration of the Tslim pump with the G7 sensor.

In the meantime, do you need the Dexcom G6 app? What extra information does it give you that is not on the Tandem app? If the answer is nothing, or not much, just uninstall the Dexcom app and just use the Tandem app.

Looking forward to the G7, and hopefully that does fix things.

The Tandem app is great and does give more information. But the Dexcom app serves a couple of purposes. For one thing, it stays in my notification bar, so I can always get a quick glance at my SG reading and graph with one swipe, as opposed to needing to go open the full app. For another, it backs up my data to the Dexcom server, which then allows for Dexcom Clarity analytics. The Tandem app backs up my data to the Tandem server, which is mostly what my doc uses, but sometimes she needs to look at the Dexcom data, too.