A senior Australian lawmaker has once again accused Apple and Google of flaws in the country’s COVID-19 contact tracing app. However, Minister of Government Services Stuart Robert also insisted that the COVIDSafe app was working “as intended”.
‘Work with Apple and Google’ to increase bluetooth signal strength to help COVID-19 contact tracing app
Mr. Robert told Sky News Australia that the country’s COVID-19 contact tracing app helps with manual tracing, as expected. “We are working with Apple and Google to get the handset’s bluetooth signal as strong as possible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work,” he said . He did, however, discuss the ongoing issues in the efficiency of the app working between Android devices and iOS devices:
The efficiency from Android to Android is excellent, close to 100%; efficiency from Android to iOS decreases. The efficiency of an iOS iPhone 11 running the latest software will vary when it connects to an iPhone version 7, there is not a rate or level at which it connects, but at the moment it is efficient and works well.
“Apple and Google could solve this problem tomorrow with their exposure notification framework,” the minister continued. “With a locked phone, iOS, Bluetooth is working perfectly fine, so Apple could fix that tomorrow, they could actually make sure the Bluetooth power was at the highest possible level tomorrow for apps built in a sovereign framework and we’re working constructively with Apple on this.
Apple developer is not convinced
However, the idea that the flaws are Apple’s fault has been disputed. Developer Jim Mussared Told ZDNet:
If the government claims the problems are Apple’s fault, it just doesn’t make sense when we know there are some really good explanations out there that aren’t Apple’s fault. We know there is a bug here, and we know the app is not working, and we know it is causing connectivity loss with other devices. So what are the reasons, then, for blaming mysterious issues on iPhones?