Google says it’s working quickly to investigate issues with Android apps that use the Android Exposure Notifications System to track the spread of COVID-19. An unknown issue is causing apps to take longer to load or conduct regular exposure checks. The NHS COVID-19 app that’s used across England and Wales is affected by this Android issue, with a loading notification stuck in the notifications area for many users.
“We are aware of an issue affecting Android apps developed using the Android Exposure Notifications System,” says a Google spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Our engineers are investigating the issue.”
We understand that Google is working urgently to identify the source of these issues and correct them as soon as possible. These issues are affecting all apps worldwide that use the Android Exposure Notifications System. The CoronaMelder app in the Netherlands is also experiencing issues.
More than 10 million people in England and Wales downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app in September, but it’s not clear how many total downloads have been made to date or the split between iOS and Android.
Google first introduced its coronavirus tracking system for Android in April 2020. The app uses Bluetooth to anonymously broadcast data and help enable track and trace programs worldwide.
Update, January 13th 10:18AM: Article updated with details on the CoronaMelder app also experiencing issues.