The federal government’s COVID Alert exposure notification app has been updated to work on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus.
Last month, the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) confirmed to MobileSyrup that it was testing the app on these iPhone models. The COVID Alert app description now confirms that the update has officially rolled out.
This new change is possible because Apple has rolled out iOS 12.5 for older iPhones with support for exposure notifications, which has previously only been available for the iPhone 7 and up. Apple has essentially made the low-energy Bluetooth technology available on older iPhones, which means that these devices can now use the framework that COVID Alert relies on.
The CDS says that COVID Alert will be continuously re-assessed and updated based on public health guidance, user research, testing and updates to the underlying framework by Apple and Google.
COVID Alert is currently fully functional in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island.
Although COVID Alert can be downloaded across the country, other regions don’t provide one-time verification keys with positive tests, which are integral to how COVID Alert operates.