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Corona warning app: bug in iOS 13.7 disrupts corona tracing

The official blog for the German Corona warning app indicates a current problem in connection with the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. iOS 13.7 on the iPhone could mean that users may see a higher risk than they actually had, according to the makers of SAP and Deutsche Telekom. "Under the new iOS version released by Apple on September 1, there may be misleading risk calculations for a small number of users," the developers write. The problem was discovered during regular tests of the app by the developer team.

Integrated improvements by Apple - and bugs

Users of the application on Android devices and iPhones with an older iOS (up to and including version 13.6.1) are reportedly not affected by the bug. "We are currently working flat out with Apple on a solution so that the affected users under iOS 13.7 can get a correctly calculated risk assessment again."

Actually, iOS 13.7 should bring improvements in contact tracing. This makes it possible for the first time to implement this without a separate app. Local health authorities only need to send a configuration file to Apple that contains, for example, information about risk assessments and the procedure in the event of a possible infection. The revised framework then generates the application itself, which is integrated directly into iOS. Google does the same with Android. In Germany, however, the app is still required. The main aim is to facilitate corona tracing in countries where there are no resources for their own application.

The developers actually recommended the update

How it came about that iOS 13.7 worsened contact tracking is currently unclear. A week ago, the developers at SAP and Deutsche Telekom recommended that iPhone users install the latest operating system version 13.7, because Apple had "significantly improved" the technical interface (API) in the past few weeks.

It was not clear on Friday when Apple would publish an update in which the bug that has now been discovered will be eliminated - nor whether there can be a fix from SAP and Deutsche Telekom. The app, which is published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), has now been downloaded over 18 million times. Since the release in June, several bugs had been discovered and fixed again. (with material from the dpa) / (bsc)

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