96 per cent of iPhones were not detectable by Isle of Wight Covid-19 App

If you were running the IW Covid-19 App on an iPhone, your handset had very little chance of being detected, it’s now been revealed. Details of how and why are within. If that was you – What’s your reaction?

man showing another mobile phone

In a shock reveal today, officials briefed the media on how the Isle of Wight Covid-19 Contact Tracing App performed.

Only 4% of iPhones were detectable, meaning 96% of those running the App on Apple handsets weren’t even recognised by handsets they were passing near to.

Not detecting
This was put down to “the way the Apple Bluetooth Stack works”. We were told today the phone puts the App into background and then it won’t detect anything.

Experts warned the Government as early as May that they had found that the App running on iPhones didn’t work well as the Bluetooth in effect went to sleep. This wasn’t ever officially recognised until now.

‘It’s OK, we’ve got the App!’
Islanders were told not to treat the App as any kind of protection. Not all heeded this – Remember News OnTheWight mentioned in our Guardian article, the ‘It’s OK, we’ve got the App!’ comment from someone in the supermarket who wasn’t Social distancing. For those Islanders who had iPhones, today’s information writes this large.

Android: 75%
The figure was drastically different for Android handsets, which saw 75% of their mobiles detected, meaning a quarter weren’t recognised.

New App: Unclear what or when
If the new App is to have tracking functions – the officials would not be tied down to when exactly the new version of the App will appear, or indeed, what functions it will perform – they will be using the Apple/Google API which it was stated will detect 99% of handsets.

Image: Luis Villasmil Image: Visit Isle of Wight under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 18th June, 2020 6:50pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2nJR

Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

10 Comments on "96 per cent of iPhones were not detectable by Isle of Wight Covid-19 App"

newest oldest most voted
Islander’s have now been advised to uninstall the Tracing App. Can we now also uninstall our ‘world beating’ Government please? 1. Failed to implement recommendations of Cygnus. 2. Failed to provide adequate PPE. 3. Failed to meet testing targets and test. 4. Failed to Track Test & Trace. 5. Failed to develop world-beating contact tracing app. 6. Failed at opening schools. 7. Failed every care home. 8.… Read more »

Successful Government (inc NHS) IT Projects are an oxymoron.


No, just plain MORON will do…

Not at all. The issue here is that the wretched Apple people refuse to work with NHSX and resolve their (Apple’s) issues with Bluetooth (which issues Android phones do not have). This is all to make sure that the government has only one option, Apple, which is inferior to the NHSX one in its ability to track contacts. If there is another wave of this virus we… Read more »
You mean apart from the contract tracing functionality they built into their operating system, which was released in May? The system that pretty much every other country is using in their apps? All of these problems were highlighted by software developers – including myself on here – before this app was even released. It is quite amazing that so many people still think someone else is to… Read more »

Not true wellsm, this woeful government did not want the Apple app and wanted to drive forward the worthless centralised NHSX I wonder why? I suggest to gather more data about us than necessary.

Rhos yr Alarch

That might tend to explain why there were no comments from people who had been contacted by the app and taken appropriate action. Still, only three known new cases so far this month, so hopefully something is going right despite this debacle…


Anyone know the official cost of this trial?

Steve Goodman

Readers of yesterday’s Guardian know that our embarrassing government’s Department of Health refused to say just how many millions of our money had been wasted in addition to all the the wasted time. Nothing unusual there, as Private Eye and Guardian readers will know.

(The Guardian did find that some official records showed £4.8 million for work on the flawed app awarded to one developer.)

Angela Hewitt

wellsm, I can only assume that was a sarcastic comment