Is The COVID App Draining My Battery?

COVID App Draining Battery

COVID App Draining Battery – Covid Tracker is a free mobile app for iOS and Android phones developed by HSE(Health Service Executive) that helps improve contact tracing for coronavirus (COVID-19). It will help us to protect each other, slow the spread of coronavirus and stay safe when we meet up, socialize, travel, or work. 

Concerns about COVID App Draining Battery

Undoubtedly, it will help slow the spread but over the weekend users with android phones have complained of a significant battery drain issues and that their phones were surprisingly hot to touch. The HSE said the issue had affected just the Android Phones, but a twitter user has claimed that he faced overheating of his iPhone and battery was emptying.  

COVID App Draining Battery
COVID App Draining Battery

App Download and Usage Statistics 

Since the launch of this app, it is downloaded by over 1.5 million users. However, with the recent battery issue, it is affecting the numbers of the people retaining the app.

Almost 90,000 users have deleted it from their phones with no plan of reinstalling.  

Quick Fix

Nearform developed the app for the HSE, said that they have identified the problem and are working with Google to fix it as soon as possible.  

The issue appears to be related to a recent Google Play Services update and is not related to the COVID Tracker app“, HSE spokesman says. 

Although, over the weekend, some users have claimed a quick fix for this issue by following the steps. 

  • Delete the App
  • Clear the Cache in Google Play
  • Restart the phone
  • Reinstall the app

But this approach could harm the ability of the app to perform contact tracing. Deleting the app from the phone will also eliminate the anonymous IDs created through the exchange of a digital Bluetooth ‘handshake’ lodged between devices running the Covid Tracker app in the past 14 days. 

These handshakes occur when users come within two meters of each other for more than 15 minutes. The anonymous keys get stored in a log on the mobile phone, which HSE may ask users to upload if they were diagnosed positive for Covid-19. That log then can be used to track unnamed contacts, with an alert delivered to affected people through the app. All the random IDs get automatically deleted after 14 days. 

The count of people receiving close contact alerts through the COVID Tracker App has reached 137 since the app launched. Around 129 people from those 137 close contact alerts have eventually chosen to speak to the HSE’s contact tracing team for the advice and to offered to test. 

The HSE also disclosed that 58 people who tested positive for Covid-19 had uploaded those random IDs generated by their phone to alert people who were in close contact with them anonymously. 

Google says this was only specific to the Irish Covid Tracker app. 

Google has claimed to roll out the fix for the issue, and most phones in Ireland should already have it. Users that uninstalled the app to resolve battery problems can now freely reinstall it in the next few days.

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