The NHSX have made public that some older mobile phones may not work with the new Coronavirus tracing app.
Fifty-five thousand downloads have been achieved since the app’s release in the Isle of Wight last week, with several residents flagging up the app’s usability on older phones.
Dr Geraint Lewis, who is in charge of the development of the NHS Covid-19 app, said that the new tool would only work with newer operating systems on Apple and Samsung phones.
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, he said phones needed to have the capability of running Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and to be running either Apple iOS 11 upwards or Android 8 upwards, and if the app does not work on a particular smartphone, it’s because the development team has not got around to supporting that particular phone.
On the NHSX’s Twitter account, they noted ‘the majority of those with a Huawei phone will be able to download and use the app given most devices are running Android and can use Google Playstore.
‘For the small number of Huawei devices that use the AppGallery, NHSX is working to provide support.’
A spokeswoman from Huawei said the company is working to ensure the app will work on all of its devices, adding that the majority of Huawei smartphones have access to the Google Play store from where the app can be downloaded.
Another user complained the app drained the battery on their phone, however, Dr Lewis said it had been designed to be low energy and used only 1% of battery on his phone.
Queries still remain over how the app works and whether the data will be kept private.
Dr Lewis added: “It is not a tracking app, it doesn’t know geographically where you are, all it is measuring is the distance between your phone and somebody else’s.”