Isle of Wight contact tracing app ‘fails to work on old phones and some Samsungs’ residents say


Residents trying to take part in the new pilot study claim they’ve been unable to even download the app with some older phones or Samsung devices.

Residents were getting messages saying their device was not compatible
Dozens of people complained there were unable to download the app

Hours after the app went live last night, a local radio station’s Facebook page was inundated with comments complaining about the app being incompatible with some phones.

One woman Julia Shepperd said it worked on her Samsung J5 from 2016, but bizarrely not on a family member’s newer version of the phone – the Samsung J6, released in 2018.

Another, Ian Hunt said: “I have a new Samsung phone and (the app) doesn’t work.”

Replying to Mr Hunt, Benjamin Dyer said: “clearly there is an issue with a series of Android phones” and urged him to report the glitch to the NHS.

Cassie Fryer said she wasn’t able to download it on her iPhone 6S, first released in 2015.

Another resident said the app wouldn’t download on his Google Pixel phone.

Others’ could download the app – but were repeatedly told to re-launch the app.

Sommer Guy wrote: “I’ve downloaded it but after 2 minutes a notification popped up telling me to re-launch the app to keep me secure. I re-launched the app and it’s done it again!”

Some said they had to delete and re-download the app multiple times to get it working.

Paula Davies said: “Had initial problem – kept telling me it had stopped working. Ended up reinstalling it 3 times then restarted my phone and now I get a tick and a message saying the app is working properly so all good.”

But even those who could get the app working claimed they were having battery life problems and were considering deleting it off their phones.

Derek Atkins said: “Down loaded but could well be taking off again later as appears to be draining the battery!

“Mine went down from 45% charge to 32% in about 1.5hrs. Fully charging at mo so will see what happens then.”

The Isle of Wight was targeted specifically because the population is older and less likely to have a smartphone, so the Government can work out the kinks before it rolls it out to the UK.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this week: “Not everyone has a smartphone -that’s another reason to test it in the Isle of Wight.

“If we tested it somewhere where it would be easy we wouldn’t find as many of the challenges.” 

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