The NHS COVID-19 App | Join the discussion, ask questions, share advice.

The NHS COVID-19 App

  • 30 September 2020
  • 16 replies
The NHS COVID-19 App
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
  • iD Mobile Employee
  • 251 replies

The new NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus.


The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy.



How does the app work?

Apple and Google's automated contact-tracing technology will be used to tell people to self-isolate if their phone detects, via an anonymous Bluetooth signal, they were near someone later determined to have the virus.

Here are some of the features the app includes:



We’ve rounded up a few questions you may have about the app and how it works on your device. Where possible, we have linked to the official NHS Covid-19 App website to provide the definitive answer.


Will the app use up my data?

We are pleased to announce we will be ‘zero rating’ the data usage from this app to ensure that your allowances remain unaffected. This means that by using the app and supporting the track and trace initiative, it won’t use any of your monthly data.


Is my privacy protected using the app?

The app has been designed using Google and Apple technology to use as little personal data and information as possible. All the data that could directly identify you is held on your phone and not shared anywhere else. Any data that’s provided from the phone will always be made anonymous to prevent the NHS and anyone else from identifying you or others. For more information about privacy and the app, you can visit the NHS website.


Will the app impact my battery?

The NHS have advised that the app should account for less than 5% of your device’s battery. If you set your phone to a ‘low power’ or ‘battery saver’ mode, head to your settings to exclude the NHS Covid-19 app to ensure it continues to work properly.


Do I need Bluetooth to be turned on at all times?

Yes. The app uses ‘Bluetooth Low Energy’ to work. When you download the app, you’ll need to allow the ‘Exposure Notifications’ service from Apple and Google – that’s because Bluetooth allows your app to record the random IDs of other app users who’ve spent time near you. This is known as ‘Exposure Logging’ and it’ll only work while your phone’s Bluetooth remains switched on.


Where can I download the app from?

If you have an iPhone head to the App Store or click the link below to download. If you have an Android device, head to the Google Play Store or click the link below.

Google Play Store   

Apple App Store



Will the app be compatible with my device?

The following is a list of Android and Apple smartphones that have been successfully tested with the app. If your phone is listed, and you're having difficulty installing the app, please make sure you're on Android Marshmallow or iOS 13.5 or above.

If your phone is not listed, it may not have been tested yet. It may still work as long as it satisfies the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 4 or above and Android Marshmallow (v6.0) or iOS 13.5 and above.

Click below for a full list of compatible devices

  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone 11Pro
  • Xioami MI A2
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nokia 7+
  • Xiaomi Redmi note 8
  • Samsung A6
  • Samsung S20
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 4 (Unlocked)
  • Google Pixel 4 XL (Unlocked)
  • Google Pixel 2
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Samsung Galaxy A40
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 (Unlocked)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Unlocked)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Unlocked)


How do I check I have the latest software on my device?

The app requires you are on iOS 13.5 or above for iPhone and Android Marshmallow (v6.0) or above for Android devices.

To check your iPhone software

  • Settings > General > Software Update

To check your Android software

  • Settings > About Phone/About Device > Check > Update


Are you one of the million people in the UK who have already downloaded the NHS Track and Trace app to your phone? How are you finding it? Or if not, will you be downloading the app in the coming days/weeks? Let us know how it’s working for you in the comments below (but please be respectful and mindful of others).



  • iD Mobile does not benefit financially or otherwise from speaking about this app.
  • The information in this article is correct as of 24th September 2020.
  • The above content has been sourced from the NHS App website here
  • For further information on Covid-19 from the NHS click here


16 replies

Has anyone noticed that their app doesn’t search for matches if on mobile data? I don’t log onto WiFi often so it’s not checking which seems a bit pointless. I have mobile data switched on for everything so not aware it’s a setting on my phone.


Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi @Morechocolate,


Have you got locations enabled on your phone? This should resolve the issue if not.



Under privacy? All on overall and can’t see an option just for the app


ETA I’ve got an iPhone if that wasn’t already obvious

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Hello @Morechocolate,

Location Services are turned on via your Phone settings, not via the app.

Check to see if Location Services are enabled by pulling down the menu and tapping it on.


Let us know how you get on.



Yes, phone settings is where I checked. In iOS location settings are under privacy in the settings (unless it is somewhere else you want me to check), I was trying to establish I had the right place in the iOS settings.


but also under this you can select the location services options for specific apps too, so I could switch off for google maps for example. I can’t see an option for the NHS app itself so assume I can’t control the NHS app independently.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi @Morechocolate 


Have you been prompted at all by the NHS App previously to enable it when opening?


It may be worth deleting it, then re-downloading it to see if it prompts you, and if it does, select yes.



Already done that and allowed it to do everything it asked

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi @Morechocolate,

It seems as though you’ve tried everything that we can think of at this stage. You might need to contact the developers of the app to see if they can suggest anything further.

My area’s risk level changed today and the app didn’t update until I went onto WiFi either.


is there a chance that instead of zero rating the app data, ID mobile have simply turned it off?


it just seems strange there wouldn’t be a wider issue if the app didn’t work on mobile data at all

Userlevel 6
Badge +6

It’s strange that it’s only happening with this one app; to me, that suggests an issue with the app itself rather than our network, or indeed your settings, which all seem fine.


Thank you,


But are other apps data zero rated by ID mobile? Because then that would make sense it’s restricted to just this one app if there’s an issue with the zero rating 

Userlevel 6
Badge +6

This is the first time we’ve seen this issue, that’s all; if it was a widespread issue, we’d certainly have expected more contact. However, I’ll look into this for you and get back to you once I have a response.


Thank you,


Yes, but how many people will a) rely on mobile data rather than WiFi and b) know where to look for the exposure checks within their settings to know it’s not actually downloading the keys?

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi @Morechocolate,

We appreciate your points there and our Technical Team would like further information on this problem. Please can you confirm your iPhone model, the iOS version you’re using and also if you can try the SIM card in another phone whilst using the app to see if it can be replicated?


I didn’t get a chance to find another phone, but it looks like it’s working now.


my phone updated to iOS 14 so maybe that did the trick?

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi @Morechocolate,


I would imagine that would have been the fix.


Cheers for letting us know!




Why iD Mobile?