Covid Safe AustraliaSource: health.gov.au

What you need to know

  • Australia's Covidsafe app is still struggling on iPhone.
  • A report says communication success is still as low as 27% on some models.
  • This still represents a big improvement on April, when it was just 7%.

A new report says that Australia's Covidsafe app working as little as 27% of the time on some models of iPhone.

According to Guadrian Australia:

The makers of the Covidsafe app have had to overhaul the algorithm for determining close contacts to improve the functionality of the app on iPhones, Guardian Australia has learned, as new data suggests it is working only 27% of the time on some Apple mobiles.

The report says data requested by the outlet shows that as of August 1, older iPhone models like the 6 and 6s were "still only communicating with each other or iPhone X models between 27% and 40% of the time" when screens of both devices were locked. Despite the seemingly poor performance, this is actually a big improvement over April's tests, which showed success rates of as low as 7%.

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It's not all bad news, and the success rate between unlocked iPhones is as high as 93%. The Digital Transformation agency provide more information:

In a background document provided in the FOI response, the DTA said the iPhone's performance now was close to being rated "good", but said changes made "across the whole Covidsafe ecosystem", in particular the algorithm used by health officials in determining close contacts based on the bluetooth data, had allowed it to work better on iPhones.

The report notes that there has been some success in regions where the app has identified potential close contacts not identified by manual tracing. You can read the full report here.

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