Starting Loop: Compatible iPhone

Recommendation

We recommend an iPhone that is compatible with iOS 17 (or higher).

Loop 3 requires a minimum iOS of 15.1, but Apple has announced iOS 18, which is expected to be released in fall 2024.  It is unusual for the Loop developers to support so many versions of iOS.  We are uncertain when the developers will stop supporting iOS 15.x, but if you are currently using a device that can’t be updated, you should look for something newer.

There are alternate markets to purchase used cell phones (for example, https://swappa.com).

Be sure that your looping phone has an internal battery with a Maximum Capacity above 85% (look in Settings/Battery/Battery Health/Maximum Capacity).

Backup Plan

In addition to your primary Loop phone, a backup device (see Backup Plan) is recommended for Loopers (it does not need to be activated with a telephone number/mobile service).

If you don’t own another iPhone, a potential backup device for Dexcom users is a newer iPad.  Because of their size, it’s not a long-term solution, but could get you through an emergency situation.  For this to work, you’ll need an iPad that can run OS17 or higher and that is compatible with your CGM’s app. Dexcom provides this list of devices, including many iPad models, that are compatible with their apps.  Based upon our research, Libre apps are not compatible with the iPad.  As with all backup devices, be sure to install both Loop and the CGM app on your iPad in advance.

Data Plan is Not Mandatory

Your phone will connect to your pump/radio-link and CGM via Bluetooth.

If Loop is for your child, you will want to have a cell or data plan in order to be able to follow their glucose remotely, or to use Loop’s remote commands. School WiFi may not be enough, and you will want ot be able to access their data at times other than when they have WiFi acess, such as during excursions, travel to and from school, sport activities, etc.

Turn Off Automatic Update

You should turn off automatic update for iOS on the Looper’s phone.

While you wait for the experts to test the latest release for building and running Loop, you do NOT want for your phone to update at night automatically, and re-start without anyone awake and aware that the Loop app may need to be restarted.
Should your phone, despite all your precautions, restart at night, your pump will keep delivering scheduled basal but Loop won’t be making any adjustments.

To see the detailed list of compatible phones, click here: Intro: Compatible iPhone

 Turn On Parental Controls

If your Looper is a child or teen, you should turn on some of of Apple’s parental control features on the Looper’s phone.  There are lots of stories from panicked parents about

  • the Loop app being accidentally deleted.  No one wants to rebuild Loop and redo the Onboarding process at midnight.  
  • the phone time being advanced to play a video game.  This creates future glucose that must be found and then deleted from both Apple Health and Loop, which is not as easy as it sounds.

To prevent this from happening to you, in the Looping phone’s iPhone Settings, tap Screen Time/Lock Screen Time Settings/Enter a passcode. Of course, your child would never cause you a sleepless night on purpose, but a Looping phone is a medical device and you should take this simple precaution upfront.  

Apple provides additional parental controls but the two listed here are most important for Loopers.

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