How To Install Irish COVID Tracker App

One thing the news has taught me over the past few days is that we’re still dealing with something rather dangerous in COVID-19. While we might not talk about it as much, it’s still capable of terrible things. Many, myself included, believed that the Government-backed COVID Tracker App wouldn’t be needed by the time it landed, but it’s here. Here’s everything you need to know about the HSE COVID Tracker App and how to download if for both your iPhone and Android device.

What Is The HSE COVID Tracker App?

Covid-19 thrives off human contact. Passing from human to human is how this virus survives, grows and kills. Due to the nature of the virus, tracing past contacts of those who have come into close contact with the infected is a crucial element of stemming the spread of the virus. As part of Ireland’s national response to COVID-19, a contact tracing app was commissioned and tonight has landed for users to download. The. HSE’s COVID Tracker app helps with the contact-tracing process and also offers real-time symptom tracking.

While the app or any technology could never replace a vaccine, the app does offer benefits in allowing people to return to some sort of normality as a result of reduced risks through increased tracing.

How Does The HSE COVID Tracking App Work?

The app is effectively a beacon which constantly emits a signal. When other users have similar COVID tracking apps on their phone, the two phones perform a kind of handshake, acknowledging each other. Both phones store this exchange and if you test positive for COVID-19, you enter this in the app and users with the app who were within close proximity to you within the past two weeks will be notified.

How To Download The HSE COVID Tracking App: Android

The app can be downloaded and installed on your phone like any other app. I do have some question marks about how this will impact certain features on the phone. Of course, this is an important app that only works if a lot of the nation’s phone users download it. But, as a tech reviewer, I have to wonder what the battery impact will be and will this impact my Bluetooth headphones? With an app like this which has been understandably rushed to market, there will almost certainly be some shortcomings. For a start, you need to be over 16 due to Ireland’s digital age of consent and the app is only available on mobile for people using Apple’s iOS 13.5 or higher or Google’s Android 6.0 or higher. Generally speaking all phones from the past five years should be covered.

For now, here’s how to install it.

Download The HSE COVID Tracking App: Android

The official COVID tracking app for Android is available to download from the Google Play Store.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your phone
  2. Search for “COVID tracker Ireland”
  3. You’ll see the result with “Health Service Executive Ireland” underneath the app name.
  4. Select “Install”
  5. Once installed, open the app.
  6. Confirm you are over 16
    • The app can only be used by people over 16 for legal reasons.
  7. You’ll need to consent to several things
    • App metrics (optional)
    • Exposure notification service (required)
    • Provide number for contact (optional)

Download The HSE COVID Tracking App: iPhone

The iPhone version of this app is supported by iPhones running iOS 13.5. That means the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the company’s new iPhone SE 2.

  1. Open the App Store on your phone
  2. Search for “COVID tracker Ireland”
  3. You’ll see the result with “Health Service Executive Ireland” underneath the app name.
  4. Select “Install”
  5. Once installed, open the app.
  6. Confirm you are over 16
    • The app can only be used by people over 16 for legal reasons.
  7. You’ll need to consent to several things
    • App metrics (optional)
    • Exposure notification service (required)
    • Provide a number for contact (optional)

How To Use The COVID Tracker App

Using the app is simple. You should try to check in daily and log how you are feeling. I don’t have any symptoms and this is a serious app so I’m not going to go fiddling the system to see how it works. Beyond that the app will tell you how many others have checked in and how people are feeling. I’ve never seen an app with this kind of broad community appeal. It’s really something. Right now, 1.7k people have checked in and 99% are feeling well.

The app also shows confirmed cases, total deaths, number hospitalised and in intensive care, along with how many have downloaded the app. We are also given a breakdown of transmission including travel abroad, close contact and community transmission stats.

Look, this isn’t a review. I’m going to keep an eye on this app but at the end of the day, you should download this because the app’s success and our community wellbeing depends on us all being bought in. Do I have privacy concerns? Yes. Yes I do. But what good is privacy if we can’t all look out for each other.

Visit the HSE’s dedicated COVID tracker website for more information.

Download The HSE COVID Tracker Android APK

I know some of you are just into APKs so I’ve extracted this directly from the Google Play Store.

Download the HSE COVID App Android APK

HSE Covid Tracking App FAQs

I’ve been getting quite a few questions since the app launched. Here are the answers I’ve been dishing out.

How can I download the HSE COVID tracking app?

Follow the instructions above to download the app for your phone. Ultimately, search for “COVID tracker Ireland” in your phone’s app store.

What iPhone’s support the COVID tracking app?

The app requires iOS 13.5 to work. iOS 13.5 can be downloaded on the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the iPhone SE 2. These are the iPhones that can use the app.

Which Android phone supports the COVID tracking app?

There is a much wider range of Android phones so I can’t list them all. However, if your phone is less than five years old and running Android 6.0 or above you should be fine.

I have an iPhone running iOS 13.5, but I still can’t download the app. How come?

It’s not uncommon for iPhones to set up in the wrong region. Check you’re set to the Irish app store. If not, here’s how to fix that.

Do I need to have Bluetooth turned on for this to work?

Yep. You need both Bluetooth and location turned on.

Does the COVID tracking app kill battery?

All apps kill your battery. However, I was surprised to see that COVID tracking app barely uses any power at all. Battery power shouldn’t be a concern.