The Diabetes Pilot web site provides users with user manuals, a knowledge base for the more common problems. I did use the knowledge base to solve a syncing issue which turned out to be an updated, but troublesome version of Bonjour from Apple. I found the solution on the website with a link to download a compatible version of Bonjour. This issue is covered more completely in my review of the Diabetes Pilot PC Software.
I had a few questions regarding the software. I contacted their support desk using the form on their website and I received a next day reply to all my questions. That is far more service than I have received from many other app developers.
The iPhone version of Diabetes Pilot is going to receive both thumbs up and thumbs down. Thumbs up for a clean, usable interface with nice graphs and the ability to add/modify the category settings, medications and exercises. Thumbs up for the insulin calculator. Even though I can calculate my insulin dose in my head, this gives me a convenient way to record not only how much insulin I inject, but why that amount. I think in the long term this would give a better understanding of what amount of insulin works best for me and why. Last thumbs up goes to stability. Both the iPhone and the desktop platforms worked without a single crash and that's saying something.
Now for the thumbs down. Thumbs down for the food database. Aside from some needed improvements in database navigation, the structure of the database is good, but the data within it needs to be better. So many of the food item errors are extremely obvious to anyone who uses the application, I cannot understand why these errors exist. Even though you can edit the database, you really need the desktop version to modify the food database with ease.
Thumbs down for the inability to export the charts in a format other than an image. Thumbs down for not being able to export/send log data in a format other than unformatted plain text. Many other FREE apps do a good job of e-mailing data in a grid with alternate color backgrounds or simple tables, which makes the data easy to read and understand. At a price of $14.99 for the iPhone version this app should be a 100% standalone application and not require the $34.99/PC or $29.99/Mac version to export data in .cvs or .pdf format.
That's three thumbs up and three thumbs down.
I think the developers would be far better off if they released a free limited function or ad version and if you purchased the desktop software you receive an activation code to unlock the iPhone app to be fully functional and(or) ad free. The shame is Diabetes Pilot is a good application, with a few issues. There are issues with any app but for some people those issues may not be of any concern. At a price of $14.99 + desktop cost, I fear a lot of people will not give this package a try, even though it may be one of the best options for their diabetic management needs.
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Yesterday, I heard a patient advocate say he was thankful for diabetes. He said, “If I had to choose a disease, type 1 diabetes isn’t a bad choice. Sometimes I feel thankful for having it.” The 40-something who said this was speaking on the radio as I was driving. I nearly swerved off the road.
Insulin therapy is all about balance and fine-tuning. It’s normal to experience a challenge or two, especially when you begin the regimen.