Concerned about covid? Got an older phone but can’t upgrade to the NHS track and trace app?
Don’t worry, we feel your pain and we’re here to help whoever you're concerned about. We’re dropping the price of our reboxed iPhone 7 so you can get yourself or a loved one a phone that can download the app.
In a BBC Breakfast interview, the government’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock was questioned about those with older smartphones being unable to download the official NHS track and trace app. “Only a very small proportion of people have phones that don’t have the latest iOS software,” he responded, without giving any data to support his claim. “Of course, there are technical requirements, in the same way that if you don’t have a phone obviously you can’t download it, but the vast majority of people have got the latest version of the Apple software.”
“The best thing that they could do if they want to get the app,” he added, “is to upgrade.”
As with all reboxed devices, the iPhone 7 comes as good as new thanks to reboxed’s unique 70-point TechCheck. Purchases also include a charging cable, 15-month guarantee and a planet-friendly promise to plant ten trees.
Co-founder Phil Kemish explains why reboxed has made this decision. “My mum, who is high risk when it comes to COVID-19, called me last night in a panic,” he says. “She is worried about the spread of coronavirus and wanted to access the new app – but she uses an iPhone 6.”
“She is one of many people who can’t use the app to its full extent. I wanted to support her and the many other smartphone owners who have been excluded, so here at reboxed we came up with the idea of making the necessary upgrade more accessible by offering a reboxed iPhone 7 for £149.”
According to Global Stats more than a fifth (21.2%) of iPhone users in the UK are running iOS 12 or older, meaning they cannot download the new NHS Covid-19 app at the moment.
Other people took to twitter to voice their outrage...
What am I supposed to do if phone can’t support iOS 13.5? It’s an older phone but not old.— Laurie (@itsnotstress) September 24, 2020
A lot of people who can’t afford latest technology will be disadvantaged by this pic.twitter.com/enEvYkfHGT
Get your reboxed iphone 7 for £149 special limited offer here
What is the latest version of Apple software? iOS 13.5, which was released in May 2020. This is not compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or older models such as the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4. Anyone with one of these models will be unable to use the contact tracing element of the new software.
Are Android phones affected? To be fully compatible with new NHS track and trace app, Android handsets need to be running on Marshmallow 6.0. However, this was released in 2015 so it is far more widespread among Android users than the iOS running system required.
Does the NHS track and trace have any other technical requirements? Yes, the phone also needs to have Bluetooth 4.0 or a more recent version.
What does the app do? Once the app is installed on a smartphone, its owner is automatically sent a notification and issued with further guidance if they've been in the same venue, shared public transport or come into close proximity outside with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Its purpose is to stop people having to hand over their contact information as they have done up until now.
Why doesn’t contact tracing work on older smartphones? The app requires the Exposure Notification feature developed by Apple and Google, and this is only available in these latest versions.
What is the Exposure Notification? This feature enables phones to anonymously keep tabs on other phones nearby and alert users if another phone owner later tests positive for coronavirus.
What are the options for people who don’t have a compatible smartphone? Either upgrade to a compatible phone or continue using the NHS Test and Trace service for contact tracing and obtaining COVID-19 tests.