The NHS test and trace app finally launches – but does not work on older iPhones

The new NHS Covid-19 test and trace app has finally launched – but does not work on older iPhones.

Ministers are urging everybody to download the app, which is seen as a key way to curb the spread of coronavirus so the UK can avoid more strict restrictions.

The rollout, which comes as the UK faces a surge in infections, follows months of delay and questions about its effectiveness.

But users who tried to download it on Thursday received an error message saying you must have iOS 13.5 or later for it to work.

And it means the operating system will not work on the iPhone 6 or anything older – meaning millions of users can not download it.

There are 10 iPhone models in circulation, which are more than five years old, which can not use the new app.

Frustrated users took to social media to express their dismay, claiming it “falls at the first hurdle”.

Others said the latest software update was not available for their smartphones, meaning they couldn't download it.

One critic accused the Government of having "got it wrong again".

The system, for use in England and Wales, is meant to map the people that confirmed Covid-19 cases come into contact with.

This means it can work out who else is at risk from the disease.

  • Dr Hilary explains how new NHS Covid-19 app works as GMB fans fuming over difficulties

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed the app will "make the country a safer place".

He said: "The more people that download this app, the more useful it will be.

“Every single person who downloads the app is helping to improve how it can keep us safe.

“It helps you to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, and every additional person downloading it will make the country a safer place.”

But he admitted it is not mandatory for people to self-isolate if they get a notification from the app.

He told Times Radio: "It is only mandatory if a contact tracer phones you up.

"But you can through the app ask for the £500 if you are on low incomes that we introduced earlier this week to support people on low incomes who need to self isolate."

Trials were carried out on the app on the Isle of Wight and in Newham, east London.

The app is powered by an Apple and Google-developed system, using Bluetooth to keep an anonymous log of people a user has been close to.

  • Matt Hancock giggles about casual sex ban and 'what it means for Mrs Hancock'

It does this by exchanging randomised keys while the Bluetooth signal strength measures proximity.

If someone falls ill, they can tell the app, which will then ping their keys to a central server and in turn send them off to all app users in search of a match.

Should the system determine a person as a close contact, they will be automatically be sent a notification and issued with further guidance.

Users can also check in to pubs and other venues with a QR code scanning feature, which will share their contact details for tracing teams.

An advertising campaign to promote the app will appear on TV with the strapline, “Protect your loved ones. Get the app”.

Source: Read Full Article