HSE reponds as users say Covid tracker app 'draining phone battery in hours'


The HSE said it is working with Google to fix an issue with the Covid tracker app which is causing phone batteries to be drained within hours.

Many users have claimed their batteries are overheating and phones are dying as a result of the app – with one saying their battery went from full to empty in five hours.

When people have checked their usage, Covid Tracker Ireland – downloaded more than 1.5 million times – has recently been the main reason their battery life was drained.

Kildare woman Denise Breen asked the HSE: “What’s happened to the Covid-19 app?

“It was behaving well for weeks but since yesterday (Friday) it’s draining my phone from full battery to empty in 5 hours. What’s up?”

Another Twitter user said: “I have deleted the app and won’t be reinstalling it until I get a full explanation as to what happened.”

Janet Ni Shuilleabhain added: “I am having the exact same issue today.”

Tony Buckley said on social media: “And now my battery is overheating. Any resolution yet?”

The HSE said the issue has been affecting just Android phones, but Twitter user Elaine Bedford said: “I was having the overheating issue on my iPhone and the battery was emptying! Until I deleted the app, my phone is perfect now!”

A spokesman for the HSE says the issue is being worked on and that it is related to an update on Google Play Services and is not down to the app itself.

He said: “We have escalated the battery issue that some people with Android phones are having to Google.

“The issue appears to be related to a recent Google Play Services update and is not related to the COVID Tracker app.

“We will update as soon as we know more.”

However, some users have claimed that there is a simple solution.

Ms Breen later added: “Delete the app. Clear the cache in Google Play.

“Restart the phone. Reinstall the app and all should be good.”

Tommy Burke wrote on Twitter: “Anyone seeing battery drain issues on android since this morning it seems a Google Play Service update conflicted with Covid app.

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“Go to settings – apps Google Play services – storage – clear cache and restart phone.”

Source: Dublin News