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NHS Covid app not working

I have an fp3 and I’m running #eos. I’ve recently found that the NHS #covid #ContactTracing app is not working. I tried re-installing for the e app store but it didn’t help. My spouse also has an fp3 with /e/ and is having the same problem.

The bluetooth contact tracing won’t turn on and I cannot scan any of the QR codes to check in anywhere. After deleting and reinstalling, the setup tells me “Unfortunately, you can’t run this app. This could be due to: A restriction on your settings (for example, if this is a company phone). Or another app on your phone is using the same technology and stopping this app from working.”

Is this a known problem? Is there a way to fix it? I don’t wish to miss an exposure notification.

There are two ways:

  1. You may install the MicroG Exposure Notification version from /e/ OS “Apps”:
    1. Open Apps
    2. Go to Catogory (to the right of the ‘home’ icon on the bottom of the screen)
    3. Go to System apps
    4. Now you can find microG Exposure …
  2. You install “Corona Contact Tracing Germany” app from F-Droid (if the German app might suit for you)

For the reasons why it doesn’t work out of the box on /e/OS can be found when you search for “Covid” on /e/ forum (in short: some feared tracking so it was disabled by default).

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Thank you for the solution. I feel this was not a good decision by /e/ - especially without a large, noticeable notification. Silently causing such an important app to fail is a major disservice. As only half of people with covid show symptoms, I may have missed a notification and given the disease to a vulnerable person.

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Although I agree with you I wouldn’t start the discussion over here.
There are long (and imho fruitless) discussions within that long topics on /e/ forum:

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On further reflection, I find that I can no longer recommend the /e/ operating system due to this deeply irresponsible action and I would like the fairphone company to reconsider their partnership with a developer who is so reckless and puts its users at physical risk.

I have contact with vulnerable people and I don’t know when the covid app stopped working.

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Have you contacted Fairphone ?

I switched away from /e/ to Lineage microG for the same reason. The /e/ team really prioritized the people spreading FUD about exposure notifications “being bad for your privacy” over people’s health and safety, causing lots of preventable problems:

The worst part? It works fine on microG, microG will give you a notification telling you exactly that: that you need to enable exposure notifications if you want it. The /e/ team literally broke exposure notifications just to satisfy misinformed people spreading FUD…

It has never stopped working. It was like the current status from the beginning.

That is wrong. They silently broke it on an update: NHS Covid app not working - #7 by TheLastProject

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I can confirm that it worked on both my phone and my spouse’s phone for months until it didn’t.

I don’t quite understand the issue, I downloaded the Corona Contact Tracing Germany app and it works like a charm, it’s also compatible with other corona apps, and has worked for me in Germany, Denmark, and Norway. A friend of mine in the UK also has it, and he says it works like a charm.

On the webpage, you can see if it works in your country, and its an open-source app.

Are you using /e/ OS and allowed for the API as in ~ wait for it do you have /e/ with microG added for example

“Corona Contact Tracing Germany” is a fork of the official “Corona-Warn-App” with microG Exposure Notifications included as a library. It doesn’t need the system library. So no, it won’t be affected.

I’m new to the community, so I guess my basic question is whether I ought to take issue with the fact that my app is working.

And if not, then my question is whether the German fork is a viable alternative to the NHS app or not.

If it is, then I don’t see why I should take issue with /e/'s decision.

/e/ silently broke every single official contact tracing app for people who explicitly opted in to use contact tracing.

The reason “Corona Contact Tracing Germany” is not affected (as the only app) is because volunteers put a lot of work into that specific app to make it not require the system’s exposure notifications framework.

I personally do take issue with the fact that /e/ silently broke this in a way that caused me and @les_h to unknowingly not get exposure notifications for multiple weeks despite having gone through extra work to activate it on /e/OS. And that /e/OS did not find silently breaking notifications for a pandemic a problem big enough to delay a new release or make clear that this was going to happen on upgrading.

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The first thing I tried when I found the NHS app was broken, was uninstall it and then re-install it. I did not get any warnings this would fail. Nothing pointed me at the german app.

Completely inviable work-arounds are not a solution. and suggesting they are is wilfully obtuse.

This isn’t a pokemon app. Britain is a complete basket case with covid right now. People are still dying of this. Maybe the people I’ve unknowing put at risk are somebody you care about. Imagine that their lives matter as much as yours.

It’s not easy to find any of this out. Calling the OS /e/ is cute, but it’s bloody difficult to even find their forums with a search engine because they are literally just the most used letter in the alphabet instead of a word that one can search for. Frankly, even if it was the top search engine result that still wouldn’t be good enough. It would not make up for quietly breaking track and trace apps.

This is literally life and death. I’m very glad for you if you have obscure knowledge of the entire ecosystem of track and trace apps. That shouldn’t be required.

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Just keep in mind that this a community forum of Fairphone user, so we hardly have influence on Fairphone decisions and have zero influence on /e/ decisions. So if you feel Fairphone has to take action (not sure that they have much influence, as /e/ OS is not made for Fairphone) you should contact Fairphone about this.

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They had a problem with an earlier update already.
Back then they made it clear in the release notes … but how to point affected users to this? I agree there is a huge problem with communication in such cases.
I think they are missing a possibility to display a big fat red warning about such things in the Updater when needed, it would come in handy occasionally.

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Why not just add a little “Update installed” app that starts on boot and creates a notification with important things to know. It would then just save a value that would let it know on other boots to not show anything. Would be easy to create too.

This doesn’t help when they need the user to better do something before the update, as back then with the update to 0.14.
Well, the issue was fixable after the update back then, but better safe than sorry.

You’re right, showing the release notes or other important info after updating can’t hurt as well.