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HSE working with Google to fix problem with Covid Tracker app that drains Android phone batteries

The HSE said that the problem should be fixed within 24 hours.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE HSE SAID that it is working with Google to fix a problem with the Irish government’s Covid Tracker app that leads to Android phone’s batteries being drained quickly.

The HSE became aware that Android users’ phone batteries were running down quicker than usual, and has identified the issue.

“We are working with our developers and Google to fix it,” the HSE said in a statement to TheJournal.ie.

Explaining the issue, a spokesperson said: “There was a problem relating to the Exposure Notification System getting stuck in a loop when processing the Random IDs.

Google are releasing an update to Play services in the next 24 hours that will resolve the issue for people that are experiencing this problem. 

“Additional controls are being introduced to ensure this does not happen again.”

The HSE apologised to those experiencing this issue over the past two days.

A number of people have suggested that clearing the cache on your phone provides a temporary fix to the problem.

Questions posed by Android users

Android users have been questioning why their phone batteries are drained and overheating over the past 36 hours.

“This morning both my wife’s and my Android phone went from 100% to 30% over a couple of hours. I’ve a galaxy s7 and she has an A71,” one user on Reddit said.

“The app using it was Google Play services, but the Covid app was also listed, and it shares a lot of dependency on Google Play services.”

Another Reddit user posted: “Just wondering if anyone else has found that the official Irish Covid tracker app hammered their device’s battery overnight – maxing out the CPUs and generating heat. Three different devices in our gaff experienced this late last night.”

The user later posted to say that they had been told the problem was due to an “unfortunate” conflict arising from a Play Services update.

When asked by TheJournal.ie whether Android users had uninstalled the app, a HSE spokesperson said: “On Android devices we are seeing a net daily growth averaging 2,500 users per day over the last two weeks.

“Since the app was launched, 780,000 Android phones have downloaded the app and 86,000 have uninstalled and not re-installed the app.”

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A total of 1.45 million people have downloaded the Covid Tracker app since its launch last month, with over 100 people contacted as close contacts through the app.

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