Dexcom suddenly using up my phone's battery

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.

I can testify that “old battery” fade is not the cause. I replaced my Galaxy s10 battery the very end of last summer (12~13mos ago.)

Tandem users can start/stop/pair transmitters using just the pump, BUT, typing the codes is more error- prone than using the phone camera or even typing with a full keyboard.

OmniPod CANNOT start new sensors or transmitters without the Dexcom app.

This work-around may be simpler than uninstalling Dexcom; do a “force stop” in Settings->Apps->Dexcom. This FIXES the problem. It’s not Android or any other recent update.

BUT, as SchnaüserJohn and Hats point out, you are now dependent on the data reporting from either Tandem or OmniPod. You’ll have to force-stop Dexcom any time you restart the phone.

Also, I don’t believe OmniPod’s app has any alarms leading up to the end-of-sensor. Podders may want to use a calendar event as a reminder to open the Dexcom app in time to start your new site. Give yourself AT LEAST 5~10 minutes for the app to find the transmitter.

Here’s a possible work-around for alarms (and MAYBE batt charge). Android has an auto-restart hidden in Settings->Batt/Device Care-> menu (…)->Automation. As mentioned, Dexcom starts on boot-up and alerts you to any missed alarms. A daily restart should catch Dexcom expiration alarms in time, then you can force it to stop until you need it.

I seem to get the same (temporary) benefit from a force-stop as I did from the uninstall/reinstall. So my new experiment is to force-stop Dexcom every day, auto-restart every night.

Someone else will need to report on this idea; I’m a newbie here, and this is my 3rd and final post on this thread.

Like you Paul @WearsHats, I’m looking forward to release of the mew Tandem software with the toggle that allows user to switch back and forth between G6, G7, and Libre. And I agree with your assessment of the Clarity and Tandem reports - for me they complement each other.

After doing a reset of S10 a couple of times, uninstalling and reinstalling Dexcom G6 Mobile a few times I took my S10 off the charger with 100% of what phone diagnostics said was “Good Battery Condition”, I went to bed and awoke the next morning to a dead S10 which has been operating on “Power Saver”; data stopped uploading to both Tandem and Dexcom ay about 6:30 AM - 7 1/2 hours. Frustrated, I paid a visit to T-Mobile where I had purchased my S10. I held it up and said “battery” - two agents said not worth the bother of repair. Bottom line, I walked out two hours later with a new S23 and a better plan for my wife and I without additional cost - something about special Tuesday deals. My Frustration has ended!!! PM me for details.

When I began looking at the many phone choices, I told the agent that the phone has to work effectively with three medical devices - he looked at me and said, one must be Dexcom. Another customer had already been to the store.

Glad you got that worked out.

My phone company has been pushing me to take a similar deal. But the S23 doesn’t have a headphone jack.(It’s hard to find a current generation phone that has a headphone jack, at least 6GB of RAM, is less than 2.8" wide, and works with my current carrier.) Also, my family is on a cheaper legacy plan. The phone upgrade requires us to switch to an unlimited plan, which isn’t worth it for us.

I’m reminded a bit of the case a few years ago where Apple was caught deliberately slowing down older iPhones to nudge customers into buying new ones. I don’t think that’s what’s going on here, but I am noticing a few other apps draining more battery power in the background than they used to.

For now, my S10e is working well enough. Not as well as it did a month ago, but well enough.

ETA: Looks like there is one phone that meets my needs: The Sony Xperia 1 V. It’s even got an SD card slot. It is weirdly tall, though. And very expensive, especially since I’d have to buy it unlocked (i.e. without the carrier subsidy).

Hi @Dennis . Since I no longer use Tandem I’m not familiar with the details of the coming updates and I’m wondering about the toggle feature: will it really allow you to switch back and forth between CGMs, or will it simply let you to select the one you need and then be locked in? Given the safety requirements for our devices I would think it would be the latter, but since I’m out of the loop I defer to members like you who closely follow developments. Thanks!

Thanks, Dorie, but I don’t need a new S10e. I suspect it would have the same problem, since this seems to be a software rather than hardware issue. If I’m going to get a new phone, I’d rather get one that will last a few years. The S10e is 4 years old. The specs are falling behind, it’s not 5G compatible, and, more importantly, it’s no longer receiving OS updates. Won’t be long before they discontinue security patches.

Yes Dorie, the switch on the new Tandem software, as well as the switch on the iLet, allow changing between CGM at user discretion; there is a good picture and description on the Bionic webpage. This is part of the BIG picture when the US FDA created the iAIDs category - the “i” meaning [true] interoperability, the ability for users to mix 'n match devices to best serve an individual’s needs.

Perhaps you recall reading this “vision” in the 2019 FDA letters when the category was created for the very innovative CIQ system. Because the OmniPod is a throwaway, I understand that Insulet will be packaging different pods each capable of using the “approved for insulin dosing” CGM.

This response has strayed from Topic, so further discussion of the software upgrade will need its own topic.

I first tried the Tandem app and it kept losing the bluetooth connection, which ran my battery down quickly. So after 3 months I gave up and uninstalled it. Once again, I only needed to charge my phone every 3 days instead of every day or twice a day. My doctor suggested the Dexcom apps, which I have tried. They have worked smoothly, without losing bluetooth connection. But I still have to charge my phone once or sometimes twice a day. I will probably give up on that one, too. Using all these apps that eat my battery causes lots of problems, especially in a power outage. Every business, mail order firm and and bank wants us to use their apps. But I am not willing to have to plug my phone into the wall for an hour and a half every few hours. I want my phone to go all over the house with me so I do not miss phone calls and texts from my family. I just refuse to use all these apps.

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I remember when I had a flip phone. I charged it once a week, when it was down to 40-50%. I held off on getting a smartphone for a long time. Then I held off using anything with Bluetooth for another decade. But, for me, Dexcom and Tandem are worth it. It helps a lot to have my readings and analytics so readily available, and for my doctor to be able to review them remotely without my needing to do anything. I’ve learned a lot from that data, and gotten better control for it.

The biggest battery drain on my phone is a game I play off and on throughout the day so I keep my phone plugged in when I’m sitting - a wall charger, portable battery or car charger all help keep my battery topped off and ready to take with me. Not to try to convince you to use apps you don’t want, but if battery is your only/main reason for not using certain ones, that could be a work-around.