#freestylelibre – A quick round up of the phone apps available

#freestylelibre – A quick round up of the phone apps available
#freestylelibre – A quick round up of the phone apps available

While I am still seeing performance issues with the sensors (regularly reading 25% or more out), I’m still battling on with this thing as it is still cheaper than the alternatives, and affordable healthcare is what we want, right?

The whole system, in spite of the consistently poor performance of the sensors that I continue to see between 7-10 days in, is an incredibly useful tool for observing trends. Especially with the recent move to a pump. I don’t care what the reader says as a spot. I can use blood for that, but what blood can’t tell me is that overnight I saw an increase in levels from 2.30am-5am, and therefore I need to adjust my basal rate. Well, it can if I get up 3 times in the night, which I’d rather not do. I don’t get enough sleep as it is!

The Libre records all the data in the scanner for download onto the software or Diasend at your convenience, however, do you always want to carry multiple devices with you? Sometimes, it would be nice to just have your phone. And that’s where Liapp and Glimp come in. But only if you have an Android phone as Apple don’t make their NFC implementation available as part of the SDK.

So what of these two apps? Let’s take a look…


In its own words, Glimp describes itself as:

App for managing diabetes, compatible with Abbott Freestyle Libre

-Memorize blood glucose levels
-Memorize insulin units, carbohydrates and sport activities
-Notifies when insulin or accessories spares are near to finish
-Automatically acquires glucose values from Abbott Freestyle Libre sensor
-Graphical representation of glucose, insulin, calories and carbohydrates
-Integrated with Dropbox: connect Glimp to your Dropbox account and share your data on all your devices
Notes for use with Abbott Freestyle Libre:
-Verify that your mobile has NFC support and that NFC is enabled
-Keep Glimp open on the graph form
-Move back of mobile very near to the sensor
-Two short vibrations means reading OK
-One long vibration means error in reading
-No vibration means NFC missing or not active, or mobile too far from sensor
-New sensors must be initialized with Abbott reader before using them with Glimp
-With Glimp you don’t have to wait one hour to start using a new sensor
-Glimp don’t stop reading from sensor after expiry date, but don’t guarantee accuracy of data. Use the sensor data at your own risk!
-Abbott Freestyle Libre Reader processes the sensor measurements and displays glucose values based on statistics, instead Glimp records and displays glucose values as they are read by the sensor
This app is not approved by Abbott and there’s no guarantee about the correctenss of glucose values read from the Abbott Freestyle Libre sensor.
This app is not intended as a substitute for your doctor and diabetes specialist. For any questions, contact your doctor.”

So what’s special about Glimp? Well it keeps a record of all the data it stores and you can therefore access it, download it and use it in a spreadsheet. You can use it from first insertion to beyond the fourteen day limit (although the sensors only last fifteen days) and it has some yet to be fully completed functions relating to storage of data around doses, food, exercise and some other factors. All in all it’s not at all a bad app.

What I’d like to see is, within the Glimp software, a Calibration tool. I have found on each of the last six sensors that I used, that after 7-10 days, they read low. If I could calibrate the results in the software on the phone, then it would be brilliant!

I’d also like to be able to use the graph in landscape mode on the phone. It’s easier to see the last eight hours over a wider screen. This is all feedback that the I’m sure the developer has already had, and as
I’ve mentioned it in a previous post on this topic.

It does have one major downside though. If you don’t close it down, for some reason it drains the battery. My Xperia M4 Aqua will last for days on standby normally. With Glimp left running in the background, a little over a day is a stretch. Hopefully the reason for this is being addressed.

I’d give it 7.5 out of 10 – it still has room for improvement, especially with all the features potentially on display.


Liapp is new to the fold. In its own words:
This are not the official Abbott Freestyle Libre Andoid app. 

Use at your own risk!

1. Enable NFC
2. Move the Back of your Smartphone to the Sensor
3. The Smartphone will vibrate if you found the rigth position
4. Kepp this position until the Smartphone vibrate again
You have to activate the sensor with the Libre-Reader.
Displayed values may differ from the actual blood sugar.
Currently still in development!”
Liapp is a bit newer and somewhat less developed than Glimp. It is much simpler and purely a sensor reader. It has no pretensions about data storage and download or full diabetes management.
What it does well is provide a better looking graph, and more importantly, one that you can turn to landscape view and read much more easily.
As a quick glance app to tell you what your trend is at a point in time, it’s great, but currently it doesn’t do any more. Nice enough for what it does, and in that respect it gets a 9/10, but it currently isn’t trying to be anything else.
Both these apps are a great step forward and sit in the huge gap that we suspect Abbott is trying to fill with its own app. Nothing has been seen of this, other than the questionnaire to assess suitability for a trial, which contained a clause stating that there would be no discussion of the app on social media or the internet. So we watch and wait, however it is clear that others are already stepping in to the void, so Abbott really need to get a move on with this one.
What will be interesting is whether Abbott port the predictive algorithm of the Libre scanner into the app. Would that then render the phone a healthcare device with different certification requirements? We know that Dexcom have captured their translation algorithm in the G5 transmitter to avoid issues with the FDA on this topic, so what Abbott decide to do remains an open question. Whatever happens, this area of technology remains an exciting one for us T1s!

Footnote – added 03/01/2017

As most who use the Libre will be aware by now, there is also the Abbott LibreLink app, which is provided by Abbott for using the Libre Sensors. It can be used as a standalone or in tandem with the Reader. There is also a companion app, LibreLinkUp, which allows someone to receive the data that another person has scanned using LibreLink, so it could be useful for parents that have children in school using Libre.

In addition, there is a version of Glimp that can be used to start a Libre sensor. This is known as Glimp S, and it may be possible to start with Glimp S and get more than 14 days out of a sensor, although this needs to be confirmed. If Glimp S is used to start a sensor, it will not work with the official Libre app or reader.

This footnote is added purely as a reference, as I no longer use the Libre system and have not tried these apps.

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