Why I hate my Apple phone sometimes

Thanks to being a T1D, I have had a phone (Apple SE) for longer than most of my friends: so that is one benefit of D!

My phone has been a great way to deal with D, much better than using other dedicated equipment for me. It’s small, and I carry it with me everywhere, and I don’t have to carry of bunch of other stuff. I have a bunch of D-apps that I run on it. Pretty much all my D life is in it.

I go through more or less a phone every 18 months because I run into trouble through my own fault. The last time, I walked into the water with my phone in my bathing shorts pocket because I forgot. Then someone threw the rice with my drying phone in it overboard, because they did not know my phone was in it. I know, it’s pretty funny, although at the time it wasn’t… So I always have two (phones), in case the first one dies.

But it does not mean that I always love my phone. It also comes with some real frustrations. Almost all of them are due to Apple software. Here is the latest.

I have 32GB phones these days. It is expensive to replace phones with a lot of memory, so now we stick to 32GB. I only need about 20GB, so it should not be such a big deal. But my stupid iOS software leaks GBs like crazy, and there is no tool I can use to stop it. Every month, the size I use goes up by several GBs. I use all the cleanup tools and tricks that people talk about, but there is nothing you can do to stop this growth. The only tool is to wipe your phone, and reinstall from a backup.

That’s bad enough, because it takes a while, you always lose one thing or another, and you have to reinitialize some stuff left and right. But reinstalling from a backup does not always work because Apple software has bugs. For instance, I had to do just that right after coming back from Switzerland, this week. All my D-apps stopped working and there was nothing more I could delete. In fact, I had to fix it every for my last two weeks in Switzerland to be able to make it last that long. I couldn’t wipe it in Switzerland because I didn’t have our Macbook with me, and I have to reinstall Loop from the laptop. So, as if that wasn’t enough trouble, my unencrypted backup autoencrypted, even though the encrypted flag was off, because I have Apple Health data on which needs encryption. And I was never able to restore. And nobody at Apple had any idea of how to solve the problem.

It’s not the first time we call them about a problem and they cant fix it. In fact, every year or two since I have had an Apple phone, we have had a major problem that had to do somehow or another with using it for medical purposes, and they have never been able to solve anything, even when you reach the highest level of support.

This last one is really irritating because my dad, who has an android phone, never has a problem with creeping memory: he can clean it up as he needs, even though he uses a couple of hundred apps, and I use only about 20. I think it’s pretty basic to be able to delete memory that you have not asked for and that you don’t need. But Apple won’t let you do that.

I was anxious in Switzerland because I was thinking my phone might stop working there because of the memory problem, and I couldn’t reinstall Loop there on my own. That was only two days away from happening: not cool.

So, Apple, please don’t say you are so good at medical stuff.


I’m only on Apple because it’s the “device of choice” for developers of Diabetes related apps unfortunately. I was perfectly fine with the Android phones I had always owned prior to Liam’s diagnosis.


I also go through phones and watches pretty fast but from lack of inertia I’ve stuck with the SE for replacements. So far I have not been left in the lurch by a phone mishap, but I’ve come close. I always keep my Dexcom receiver charged as a backup in case I brick my iPhone by breaking the screen or dropping it in water. The G5 receiver was super tough, once I had one fall out of my belly belt pouch and get knocked around a hockey rink for a while, with no damage.

I hope you made it to Kandersteg, my favorite Alps base for hiking and scenery. Did not break a phone there though!


32G does seem really low. All I really have on my phone is apps (no music or photos/videos) and I’m at 50G, so I’m sure 32G is a real struggle with todays tech.

I understand the money issues. I bought my last three phones off ebay at a real good deal and never had an issue. I usually a version or two back. Also get Open Box items and never had problems. Something you might consider.



While this is not on the topic of iPhone memory, several have mentioned the problem of dropping various electronic devices in the water.

The best chance of surviving that, in my experience, is to power the device off as quickly as possible, take it to Staples, and ask them to put it in their TekDry machine for 30 minutes. A TekDry is basically a box attached to a vacuum pump. Placing your device under vacuum will remove the water quicker and better than a bowl of rice or just about anything else. They only charge you if your device survives. While I haven’t had to salvage a flooded Dexcom receiver, for example, that would likely be my first stop.

Years ago, I used to dive with someone with an underwater camera housing that, in that era, were prone to leaks. He always carried a bottle of vodka, figuring that it was better to displace the water (particularly sea salt water …) with non-conductive, non-corrosive alcohol in hopes of salvaging his expensive equipment. Plus, if the patient didn’t survive, he could console himself with the remaining vodka. He was a professional … do not try method this at home!!!

Stay safe … and may your electronic devices stay dry!



Me, too!

I also have iPhone SE. I started with an old, borrowed one with 32GB. But, I recently bought the new one with 256GB, and went through the process that you described of reinstalling all apps that didn’t move over properly from the backup. Loop worked perfectly well after re-building. And my existing POD maintained connection, as well as existing Dex sensor. Lots of problems with Apple Health though. All my BGs were deleted due to my mistake of ACCEPTing the delete data prompt in the Dexcom app on delete/reinstall. This effected Tidepool, too, since all BGs were deleted on re-connect. I ended up retrieving the BGs from Clarity using a setting on the Tidepool webapp. Live and learn!

That said, so far, the new SE is working perfectly well, no apparent memory leaks but I may not have used it long enough. I’ve updated the iOS a few times already. I do use a lot of space (1GB+) for Health though. I may need to clean it up eventually as some on the Looped FB page advise.


Thanks for sharing this tip!