Belgium’s contact tracing app unavailable on some smartphones
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Belgium’s contact tracing app unavailable on some smartphones

© Belga

Users of certain smartphone models will not be able to download Belgium’s contact tracing app, Coronalert, launched to the public on Wednesday.

“Coronalert needs Android version 6 or higher, or iOS version 13.5 or higher,” the app developers said in an online FAQ.

For iPhone users, this means the app will not be available for anyone with an iPhone 6, launched on 2014, or an older version, since Apple does not update the operating systems of older devices.

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The app developers said that the app is unsupported on those iPhone models because Apple did not introduce the Exposure Notification system, a key privacy feature of contact tracing apps developed specifically in the context of the pandemic, to any of the older models.

Outside the i-OS realm, the app is not available for owners of the most recent models of Huawei smartphones, since a feud between the Chinese tech giant and Google has seen the latter ban Huawei from all Google services, including the Google Play Store for apps.

“We are in contact with the manufacturer to find a solution. Coronalert will work correctly on other Huawei phones equipped with Google Play,” the app developers said.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times