The federal government’s COVID Alert exposure notification app has been updated to work on the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus.
Last month, Canadian Digital Service (CDS) confirmed MobileSyrup I was testing the app on these iPhone models. The COVID Alert app description now confirms that the update has been officially rolled out.
This new change is possible because Apple has released iOS 12.5 for older iPhones with support for exposure notifications, which was previously only available for iPhone 7 and later. Apple has essentially made Bluetooth Low Energy technology available on older iPhones, meaning these devices can now use the framework that COVID Alert is based on.
The CDS says that COVID Alert will be continually reassessed and updated based on public health guidance, user research, testing, and underlying framework updates from 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 throughout the country, other regions do not provide one-time verification keys with positive tests, which are an integral part of how COVID Alert works.