According to a “picture” report on millions of smartphones with an Android operating system, the Corona warning app worked poorly or not at all for weeks.
Users of Samsung or Huawei phones, for example, were not warned or warned too late, the paper reported on Thursday. The reason is that on smartphones with Android operating systems, the necessary constant background update of the app has so far been issued automatically as long as it was not open. That should save battery power.
A spokesman for the software company SAP, which co-developed the app, told the newspaper: “There was indeed a problem with previous versions of the Corona warning app regarding background updates on Android devices.” The Robert Koch Institute, too publishes the app, the newspaper said: “The automatic comparison in the background was prevented by some Android smartphones.”
The health ministry said in the evening that the problem had been known for a long time and was also a topic in the app’s questions and answers (FAQ). There it is explained how the background update can be activated. At the same time, the authority emphasized that the app worked “at all times”. Certain Android devices would have prevented apps from running permanently in the background. “This applies not only to the Corona warning app, but to all apps on these smartphones.” The warning app also exchanges anonymous codes with other smartphones without this background update.
With the new version, which was released Wednesday, “the problem is solved,” said the ministry. After the update, users would have to open the app briefly, go to Settings and activate the “prioritized background activity”.
The app is designed to help track and interrupt infection chains. It can also help people to get their test results digitally as quickly as possible after a corona virus test and can anonymously warn potential contacts via the app if they have installed the app.
Professor Hannes Federrath, President of the Gesellschaft für Informatik, spoke to the “Bild” newspaper about a very annoying mistake that could be “dangerous for the health” of consumers. He also sees the blame on the smartphone manufacturers.
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