Question COVID tracing app uk tech question

mattressback

Active Member
My step dad would like to have the covid app but his phone is a basic one, he’s an old man and doesn’t want to really change his phone . I have a 2 yr old smart phone I’m not using. IF I installed the app and he carried it with him , used it to check in places etc. It it didn’t have a SIM card in it would it work?

how does the alert system work? Do u get a text message or an alert via the app. He has home Wi-fi so any alerts coming that way would get thro or does it require data when checking in places?

thanks
 

1742

Member
As I understand it the app works using location and Bluetooth,so the app should work without a sim.
 

lee667

Well-known Member
I think the best way would be to install the app and test it without a sim and see if it works.

I imagine it would depend on how accurate they want the location to be, as if its GPS then its not massively accurate.

The other way it could check your location would be GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile masts (which I presume would require a sim card for it to ping to).

Otherwise just request a free payg sim and chuck it in so it connects to a mast.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
As I understand it the app works using location and Bluetooth,so the app should work without a sim.
I believe that the app does its own offline storage of "other phones" that it has been close to, yes.

BUT if one of those "other phones" was later told that its owner was Covid+ then there (surely?) must be some data connection in order for the push notification advising isolation to arrive on yours. Otherwise, it would be wholly dependent on your coming close to that "other phone" on a second occasion to get the warning - and that would render it practically useless.

Likewise, if you discover you are Covid+ and you tell your app - how else would it be able to alert that person you sat near to on the train the other day?
 

mattressback

Active Member
I think I’ve decided just to get him a 1pmobile sim put a tenner on it, have no other apps on the phone, update only via Wi-fi and see how long that £10 lasts

thanks for the replies
 

prking

Active Member
I believe that the app does its own offline storage of "other phones" that it has been close to, yes.

BUT if one of those "other phones" was later told that its owner was Covid+ then there (surely?) must be some data connection in order for the push notification advising isolation to arrive on yours. Otherwise, it would be wholly dependent on your coming close to that "other phone" on a second occasion to get the warning - and that would render it practically useless.

Likewise, if you discover you are Covid+ and you tell your app - how else would it be able to alert that person you sat near to on the train the other day?
When you install the app, it tells you how it works. Every twenty minutes or so the app generates a new random number. This is exchanged with other phones you are near for a period of time (ie not just passing but actually in the company of). Your phone, keeps a record of these for up to 14 days.

When a user enters a positive test result into the app, the app uploads the (random) id numbers that it has recently generated.

At least, Once a day the app downloads a list of the id numbers that have tested positive and your phone compares these to the ids it has come across recently. If one of them matches then you get a notification to self isolate and a countdown timer starts.

Also in the download are the venue ids for the places with confirmed cases. Your phone then checks this against the list of places you’ve checked into and generates a notification if you’ve been there.

So as long as the phone has bluetooth on and a data connection at least once a day it will work fine.
 

KayCS

Active Member
I think I’ve decided just to get him a 1pmobile sim put a tenner on it, have no other apps on the phone, update only via Wi-fi and see how long that £10 lasts

thanks for the replies
The downside to 1p Mobile is the phone has to be topped up every 4 months or you lose your existing credit so that works out to £2-50 a month less the few pence cost for data.

I don’t know how much data this app uses but would guess it’s just a few Mb a day so would recommend a Three network “Data Reward SIM” and with that you get 200Mb of data free every month plus you can top-up the SIM by only £2 if you need extra data or want to make calls or texts. There’s also no expiry date for any credit you buy.

Order your Mobile Broadband SIM | Three.

Thought I better add that the 3 network does not use the 2G network and a lot of simple phones don't have the 3G network.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Reported HDMI 2.1 bugs, Audiolab Amp & LG LED Projector reviews + Best of the Month
Top Bottom