The Covid Tracker Ireland app has updated, so what’s new?

28 Aug 20204.9k Views

The Covid Tracker Ireland app. Image: Luke Maxwell/Siliconrepublic.com

The Covid Tracker Ireland app has been updated and now features more detailed information on cases across the country.

Those of you checking into the Covid Tracker Ireland app today (28 August) might notice a few changes to how it looks. The app, developed by Waterford-based Nearform, has now released its latest update and some new changes. So what’s different?

The most noticeable change is that the app now gives a more detailed breakdown on the number of cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. This includes a list of the number of hospital and intensive care admissions, discharges and confirmed cases across the country.

It tells users the number of tests that have been completed in the past week and how many of them returned with a positive result. It also provides the latest daily number of cases reported and includes a graph that you can toggle to see the number of confirmed cases over either the past two weeks, two months or since the beginning of the outbreak.

This can be seen at a national level or by selecting an individual county breakdown. In the future, when a new version of the app is available or its data protection information notice (DPIN) or terms and conditions have changed, users will now be notified.

It should also now be easier to report errors to the app’s developers and HSE, such as the recent battery drain issue that severely impacted its performance on Android phones. While now fixed, the issue may have had a significant impact on the number of users deleting the app.

Screenshot of the Covid-19 cases breakdown for Dublin.

More detailed case numbers for Covid-19 on a county-by-county basis are now available. Image: Colm Gorey/Siliconrepublic.com

Phase two on the way

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The Irish app is built on the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) API and its model has been made available by The Linux Foundation for similar contact-tracing apps to use across the world.

Reuters reported that the number of active users on the app fell from 1.65m in July to 1.2m now.

“There were some issues, which we have addressed with Google and Apple,” HSE chief executive Paul Reid said at a news conference yesterday (27 August). “We’ve a total of 1.65m downloads, there were of course some that were deleted and we’ve probably about 1.2m active users but we are seeing people reloading. The app is working, it is an element of our key tools in terms of contact tracing and testing.”

Meanwhile, Apple and Google are set to roll out the second phase of GAEN with the upcoming updates to the iOS and Android operating systems. As The Guardian reported, the GAEN update will allow users to receive notifications of potential coronavirus exposure without needing a public health authority app, such as Covid Tracker Ireland.

However, approved health authority apps will still be needed if someone confirmed to have Covid-19 opts to share that information anonymously with other devices.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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