Breaking News: The NHS finally abandoned the NHSX-designed COVID contact tracing app in favor of the app based on the Apple and Google API.
The NHSX version had issues, seemingly intractable, on the BTE features on distancing and contact duration between devices, as well as the app being inaccurate on the iPhone.
The “Gapple” app is already in use in Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Latvia, and Poland. As this Editor noted on Tuesday, Austria is in test, Germany just launched their ‘Corona Warning App’ and reported 6.5 million downloads in the first 24 hours.
The BBC reported that the lead on the NHSX app, Matthew Gould and Geraint Lewis, are “stepping back” and former Apple executive Simon Thompson is joining NHSX to manage it
Depending on reports, the NHS either rejected the Gapple app in April or were working on it in tandem from May. More likely, they revived the latter with the NHSX problems. The Gapple version is decentralized in storing information about user contacts on individual phone handsets because of issues over user privacy, versus the NHSX centralized app.
According to the FT and TechCrunch, the government is de-emphasizing the utility of the app, and relying on its small army of contact tracers.
But what about all those folks on the Isle of Wight?