Dexcom Follow App Alarms no longer working after update

We use Android Follow apps on our phones to receive alarms for my child. Yesterday, these follow apps, which always worked fine before, were updated to the “new improved” version.

Now the app no longer alarms when BG goes high or, worse… low.

I am sitting here with two phones and cannot get alarms to work on either. Dexcom customer support just said “we are still updating, call back periodically to check if it is working”. That was as specific as they got. No idea if that means hours or days or weeks.

How could they break our app functionality with an update like this… rendering the most important function of the Follow app useless? Why release a broken app like that to parents who you have just forced to accept your “new improved” version without any choice of our own? And we have no idea for how long… Now I have to stay up at night - for who knows how long - because there will be no alarms to wake us if our child goes low.

And for the app itself, there are some improvements, such as the ability to follow more people if you care about that and use landscape mode, and see past readings with your finger, but there are also things worse about it than before. They have made the main screen’s chart smaller for some reason and the BG number bigger. There is no reason for this to have been done. The number does not need to be so big that one can read it across the room at the expense of a much smaller graph. This “improved” version makes it much harder to tell what the trend line is actually doing, and we had no say in the matter and can’t change it back. Before, I could just open my phone at night and see if he was falling fast or if the fall was slowing down sufficiently where I did not have to worry. The arrows do not give nearly as finely-detailed a picture of what is going on as that trend line. Before, I could see this at a glance and tell a lot. Now, I can hardly tell anything from the trend line on the main screen the way it is now. It is not even as readable on the landscape screen to be able to tell on that trendline, no matter how it is set.

Now, because of the change in how the graph is displayed on the main screen, I can’t just open it, glance, and make a decision - I have to open the app, turn it to landscape mode, and trace with my finger over the readings to see what is really going on and make a decision that way. This sounds like a small thing, but it is much more onerous to do, especially when waking up bleary-eyed in the middle of the night. Any new steps on something we are forced to do so many times per day is very unwelcome. And again, we had no choice - we have to accept their “improved” version rather than stick with what worked better for us if we so chose.

DON’T MAKE THINGS WORSE, DEXCOM. EVER. Adding functionality is good, taking it away is bad, and cruel, actually. Functionality should never get worse on a medical device, only better.

If you must have the smaller graph and lack of control on the main screen in the app (but why?), at least make this something that can be toggled and changed if people choose - many people, like myself, would rather have the old view that I can see at a glance instead of the extra steps you have now added to my life for no discernible reason. Why not give us a choice for this view? Those of us who use it a certain way have just had our lives made that much harder for the millions of times per day we open this app and the millions of new steps that have been added to make the information there workable. I want to see it at a glance on the main screen like I could before. But I cannot now. It has been made worse for how we use it - with no choice in the matter for your customer.

Also, why can we still not set the height we want on the graph? Most of us would trade going up to 400 for a bigger graph. Why can’t we set the top? It is so much wasted space, which is even worse now that your main screen graph is so much smaller. I’d put the top at something like 300 if I could set it myself - it rarely goes above that, and I could toggle it higher on those occasions when I had need. This would mean, 99% of the time, I could see a bigger graph on the main screen and make my life easier.

Another thing - this app seems to take longer to get the info when you open it from the Dexcom servers. Much more spinning circles than normal.

Finally, and bizarrely, the app is CHANGING THE NUMBERS that come in. I am sitting here watching the readings, and then seeing the past readings change as new numbers come in. For some reason, it changes the previous few numbers a bit with each new reading - one, two or three points. It is very annoying, because it constantly changes the picture of what is going on - “is he going in for a soft landing or is it speeding back up?”, etc. I confirmed the phenomenon by going to the phone we use by the receiver to send us bluetooth readings (we are on G4). That phone has Xdrip. It does not change the readings after they come in. Neither did the Follow App before this update. But it retroactively changes now. That is NOT helpful. What in the world is going on?

So yes, some improvements, but some real annoying things in this “update”, which are making things harder than they were before. And, worst of all, I no longer have alarms to wake me up if my child goes low - the main function of the Follow App for us. So why force people onto this when it worked before and doesn’t now?

This is such an annoying habit with this company - making things worse with new tech, taking away things that were there before rather than just adding new things. Do not make things worse with new tech, Dexcom. Please, make our lives continually easier, not sometimes easier, sometimes harder. Do not lose any functionality with new updates, as this company is wont to do, and if you must make changes like making the main screen of the Follow App have an unneeded bigger number and a much smaller graph, for goodness sake make those changes optional for people who may prefer using it the other way around. You have added a new series of annoyances to what is already annoying enough on a daily basis.

Get it together, Dexcom.

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@DDunn Sorry you’re having so many problems.

You mentioned that one phone has xDrip+ installed. Why not install it on the other phones as followers? You’ll have the same finite control of alarms and views as the master xDrip+ installation.

It’s relatively simple to accomplish, but if you need help just let me know.

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Our alarms are working fine on Follow and we’re not seeing any of the issues you mentioned. Bizarre! I like the changes they rolled out so far.

I am not having any issues with the alarms. But I think the default view when holding the phone vertically sucks. So much useless white space, and the graph is harder to see what is going on then before. Horizontally is a fantastic improvement, but the day to day view of the graph in the vertical mode sucks. It is really hard to see what is happening below 100 now, which is the area when I want to pay attention. I can’t tell if he is 80 or 60 by glancing at the graph which is my preferred way to digest the information. Being able to set the range of the graph would be a really great thing to add.

Have you tried uninstalling and then reinstalling the app? I lost some features when Dexcom updated their app, but they all came back when I reinstalled.