Isle of Wight contact tracing app ‘fails to work on four-year-old phones’, residents say

Some of those not able to run the software were attempting to do so on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which was released in Europe in March 2016.

Other residents appear to have downloaded the wrong app, making them susceptible to scams, and people have said the app is difficult to find.

‘App not compatible on this phone’

The most common complaint was that the app was not available on certain phones. 

Sam Parkinson, posting on the website of a radio station on the island, said: “I would love to download the app but my Samsung S6 Edge has Android version 7 so can’t download it. My phone isn’t that old and otherwise works perfectly well.

“This could be an issue to take up, so hopefully this may get picked up as part of the trial and extra Android versions will be added.”

Replying to his comment on Isle of Wight Radio’s Facebook page, Debbie Pearce said: “My S7 edge isn’t compatible either.”

Many others reported the same problem.

The Telegraph has contacted the NHS for comment.

Glitches and battery life

People have also said the app drains the battery on their phones, adding they might be deleting the software if it continues.  

Derek Atkins said: “Downloaded but could well be taking off again later as appears to be draining the battery.”

And others reported glitches with the app. “I’ve downloaded it, but after two minutes a notification popped up telling me to relaunch the app to keep me secure. I relaunched the app and it’s done it again,” one post said.

Amnesty International UK has said privacy and rights could become another casualty of the virus as a result of the app, while a group of UK academics working in cyber security, privacy and law recently signed a joint letter saying it could open the door to general surveillance once the pandemic is over.

The Government has denied such suggestions, saying data is kept on a person’s smartphone and can only be shared with the NHS when an individual decides they are displaying symptoms and wants to be tested.

Islanders encouraged to download app

Dave Stewart, the leader of Isle of Wight Council, said: “Make no mistake, this could be one of the most important days in the history of the Isle of Wight. We have been asked to lead on the development of this pioneering technology and, with your support, we can give a great response.

“So today I urge you all to download the NHS Covid-19 app and turn our island into a shining beacon of light that will lead the nation out of this darkness.”

Bob Seely, the Conservative MP for the island, said: “This is an important day for the Isle of Wight and, by extension, the start of a crucial journey for our country.

“It is evident that there is tremendous enthusiasm among fellow islanders to play their part over the coming weeks in rolling out this app. The more people use it, the more successful it will be. Working together, we can help get our country back on its feet.

“There may be glitches with the app, but that’s how we are going to help – by shaping the system before it rolls out nationwide.

“If you encounter any difficulties, please provide this feedback – and your ideas on how to improve it – so we can help get this right.”

But not everybody is on board, and many have said they would not download it.

What is it and how does it work?

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