Google fixes loading issue with COVID-19 tracking apps

Unfortunately, coronavirus is still alive and well, which means that tracking apps are still needed. An issue with apps developed using Google’s Android Exposure Notifications System that was affecting tracking apps in several countries has thankfully been fixed, so COVID-19 tracking now works on Android devices again.

Unlike most apps, COVID-19 tracking apps are important to most people’s livelihoods, causing Google to issue a statement when a loading notification issue presented itself at some point yesterday. This issue was attributed to the apps being unable to download diagnosis keys from servers, and it affected all apps built with the Android Exposure Notifications System, which included the NHS COVID-19 app used in England and Wales, as well as the CoronaMelder app in the Netherlands. Some found that rebooting the phone or entering and exiting airplane mode would clear the notification, but an app as prominent as this obviously needed a legitimate fix.

Luckily, Google was able to pull together a fix very quickly. A Google spokesperson told Engadget, “It may take a few hours for devices to catch up, and in some cases we will work directly with developers to help with recovery. The issue did not cause the loss of any data or potential exposures.” The app still collected contact tracing keys and tracking exposures while the problem was live, so the issue should not have directly affected anyone’s health.

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