COVID Alert Now Works with 98% of Canadian Smartphones Says Government

Covid alert ios android

Yesterday we told you COVID Alert for iOS was updated to support older models, specifically the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, running iOS 12.5.

On Wednesday morning, the federal goverment’s Canadian Digital Service officially announced the launch, which expands the exposure notification app to more Canadian smartphones. Apple added support for these older iPhones with the release of iOS 12.5.

According to CDS on Wednesday, with this latest update to COVID Alert, the app “is now compatible with 97.5% of all Canadian smartphones, including Android phones.”

Canada’s COVID Alert app is based on Google and Apple’s exposure notification framework, which leverages Bluetooth on devices for anonymous “handshakes” in the background. The app does not use GPS info or collect any user data. It has been vetted as safe by Canada’s privacy commissioner and provincial counterparts.

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can anonymously alert others that may have been in contact using COVID Alert, by obtaining a one-time-use key from their provincial health authority.

Provinces currently supporting COVID Alert:

  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Northwest Territories

Still waiting for:

  • Alberta (SHAME!)
  • British Columbia (SHAME!)
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

Download links: 

As of January 3, COVID Alert has been downloaded 5.9 million times, with 13,179 people voluntarily entering in one-time keys, according to the federal government.