Contact Tracing App update delay: Ministers now considering a different approach

We’ve now discovered, just by chance, that the Government quietly shelved the promised second version of the IW Tracing App – First we’d heard of it. That aside, here are details of a change of approach they’re considering

Person holding a mobile phone to download the contact tracing app

Version two of the Isle of Wight Contact Tracing App is now a week overdue and the rollout of the App across the country is 11 days late.

Last month, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, announced the Contact Tracing App would be launched across the country by 1st June.

Second version of App postponed
The BBC have revealed that the “Government decided to postpone the trial” of the second version of the App.

This will be news to anyone on the Isle of Wight, because no one has told us this before. The last Islanders had been told was at the end of May when we’d been informed they were preparing a ‘bigger update’ to be delivered the next week.

Switch to Apple/Google tech
That deadline has been clearly missed, but now the BBC reveal that ministers are rethinking the App and considering switching to the tech developed by Apple and Google. Something many people at the start of the Isle of Wight trial said should have been happening.

The BBC report the App developers are having difficulties using Bluetooth to estimate distance.

Better privacy?
Those concerned with protecting their privacy may be more willing to use the Apple/Google version of the App.

This is because it works on a decentralised system, meaning matches with others who have reported symptoms is carried out via phone to phone instead of via the centralised Government server.

Answers 22 days late
Questions about the Contact Tracing App and Coronavirus testing on the Isle of Wight, put to Public Health Isle of Wight and NHS Digital, which were then bumped over to the Department of Health and Social Care have now been outstanding for 22 days.

Full details of the App rethink can be found on the BBC Website.

Thursday, 11th June, 2020 9:20am



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

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12 Comments on "Contact Tracing App update delay: Ministers now considering a different approach"

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This government, and BBQ Bob, are an absolute joke.

With stories like this, it’s no wonder people don’t trust politicians. I wonder if Bob knew about this change in approach, and if so, I’m even more furious he was at a barbecue with journalists when he should have been communicating with us! In the event that Bob denies he was aware of this change, I have to wonder why. It’s either Bob’s failing, or the Government’s,… Read more »

Apparently rumours have it Bob was trialing the second generation smartphone app, which features a sausage finder.


Grinder ?


Of course Mr Seeley knows, he is valuable to Sir Mark Sedwill


World beating app, what an absolute joke these Tories are they couldn’t run a corner shop.

Rhos yr Alarch

So if the trial has prompted a rethink isn’t that a good thing, rather than ploughing on regardless? Why the secrecy then…..!!


But that might draw attention to the less than palatable truth that it isn’t the saving grace Bob and his pals would have had us believe!

Rhos yr Alarch

Exactly! :-)

Mark L Francis

Anyone else got an alert?
Maybe all the Tory journalists at the Seaview BBQ ?


Android phones have already been ‘upgraded’ for covid19 reporting.
You at the moment can turn it off, but some people have reported it somehow turns back on. The way to combat this is to go into developer mode and disable updates or get rid of your ‘smart’ phone and go back to a phone that makes calls and send texts, be quick.

You should read the design documents, as Google and Apple agreed the design together. The way that it works underneath is the same on both iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) devices. You can review the design documents yourself, and you will find that both Apple and Google were very very strong on the privacy element in the design. The first revision was strong, and the second revision… Read more »