German Finally Launches Its COVID-19 Smartphone Tracing App

On Tuesday, Germany has called on its citizens to download a new smartphone app. The app seeks to help break the chain of coronavirus infections and prevent the resurge of coronavirus. It is one of many apps in Europe that is launched by the government to revive travel and tourism in their country.

This app is a joint initiative between telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG and software developer SAP SE. The main goal of the new tracing app is to help break the chain of infection in initial time to allow the country to effectively manage its return to normal.

The new COVID-Warn-App was made available to download for both Android and Apple devices overnight. It uses Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close contacts between people. If one of them tests positive it issues a warning that the other should be also tested.

Ahead of a launch event in Berlin, Jens Spahn, Health Minister, told ZDF public television “Everyone who downloads the app, and everyone who encourages friends to do so, is making a difference.”

Similar to other European countries such as Poland, Italy, and Switzerland, Germany in launching this app based on Apple and Alphabet’s Google’s technology. The technology protects the user’s privacy by storing Bluetooth logs securely on devices.

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In April, the project going almost went off-track with Berlin’s abandonment of the initial approach that stored data on a central server as it allowed people’s relationships to be spied on said privacy experts.

However, ZDF found the public enthusiasm moderate for the app. According to the last week’s Politbarometer opinion poll, as many as 42% of people are willing to download it while 46% are not. Among them, nearly 8% didn’t have a smartphone.

On Tuesday morning, downloading the COVID-Warn-App was simple for an iPhone user. Nevertheless, some may have to first upgrade the iOS operating system to its latest version.