18 million downloads: Germany's Corona-Warn-App hailed a success
After 100 days and more than 18,4 million downloads, the makers of Germany’s Corona-Warn-App have declared themselves pleased with its progress.
Corona-Warn-App: 18,4 million downloads and 1,2 million test results
Germany’s coronavirus tracing app has been used to transmit 1,2 million test results from labs to users in the first 100 days, according to officials. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded more than 18,4 million times in Germany and 400.000 times abroad - more than all the similar apps in other European countries combined - in what makers hailed as a “vote of confidence from the population.”
Back in June, while warning the public that the app was not a “panacea” to coronavirus in Germany - a solution for all problems - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn touted the app as an “important, additional tool in containing the pandemic.”
But the Coronavirus-Warn-App, like other similar contact tracing apps in Europe, has not been without its fair share of hiccups - including bugs in operating systems, misleading risk calculations, notification failures, data exchange interruptions, and problems downloading and using the app in different regions - prompting annoyance and confusion among some users.
Germany hails corona warning app’s successes
Nonetheless, at a press conference on Wednesday, Spahn and the app’s makers insisted that it should be considered a success. “The app works and we are continuing to work on improvements,” said Peter Lorenz, chief developer at the Telekom subsidiary company T-Systems. He also pointed out that several other countries are now making use of the German app’s open source code.
Spahn pointed particularly to the fact that the app allows users to receive COVID-19 test results directly from their mobile phones, without having to wait for a notification from their doctor. “The faster transmission of test results makes a huge difference,” he said.
According to Tim Hoettges, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, more than 90 percent of labs in Germany are now connected to the app, and almost 5.000 people with positive test results have used it to warn others they were in close contact with.
The developers have now begun work on a new project to establish a “European gateway”, which will allow the German app to communicate with contact tracing apps in 10 other European countries, including Italy, Poland and Spain, that use the same decentralised, Bluetooth-based system.