Canada's 'COVID Alert' App Using Apple's Exposure Notification API Now Available

Canada today released a new COVID-19 contact tracing app called COVID Alert, as noted by iPhone in Canada. COVID Alert takes advantage of Apple and Google's privacy-focused Exposure Notification API to alert people when they've come into contact with someone who has the coronavirus.


As with all COVID-19 contact tracing apps, COVID Alert uses Bluetooth to exchange random, anonymized codes with nearby phones, determining how close someone is by the strength of the Bluetooth signal.

canadaexposurenotification
If someone with COVID Alert tests positive for the virus, they can opt to enter that information into the app, and each person they've been in contact with will then receive an alert. COVID Alert collects no location information or personally identifiable data, and was built by Health Canada with the Canadian Digital Service.

COVID Alert has no way of knowing:

- your location - COVID Alert does not use GPS or location services
- your name or address
- the place or time you were near someone
- if you're currently near someone who was previously diagnosed

According to the app's description, provincial and territorial governments are working to support COVID Alert across Canada, and in some places, people can't yet report a COVID-19 diagnosis. At the current time, health authorities in Ontario are distributing one-time keys to people who are diagnosed with the coronavirus, and other territories and provinces will be "coming on board soon."

Even though the system is still rolling out in some areas, Canada recommends all Canadians install the app, which can be downloaded from the iOS App Store. iOS 13 is required for ‌Exposure Notification‌ apps, as iOS 14 does not support the API. [Direct Link]

Multiple countries have built apps using the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API so far, including Switzerland, Latvia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Croatia, and Denmark.

Several U.S. states are working on apps that use the API, including Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina, but no contact tracing apps that take advantage of the tool have been released in the United States to date.

Top Rated Comments

gk4 Avatar
24 months ago

Hard pass. Just more fear-porn.
You're afraid of an app that literally does nothing but sit in the background and log BT ID's of devices you've come in contact with. I think the fear porn is coming from the people who are against this app.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
torontotim Avatar
24 months ago

Hard pass. Just more fear-porn.
Yup - clearly the 'no mask, no worries, this is all a hoax' approach is working wonders in the US.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vailMike Avatar
24 months ago
i miss the old days when it was just assumed USA as a world leader would have this app and we could advise other countries on improving their communication/health/recovery. So sad having to read through the list of countries that have implemented the Apple/Google API and not seeing USA as one of them as our death toll for COVID keeps rising and now is over 150k people.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ViDeOmAnCiNi Avatar
24 months ago
Sure wish there was just a universal COVID-19 tracing APP that you can install and use anywhere in the world. Since it's all bluetooth talking it should be limited to the people you come into contact with in your area. USA is way behind on these types of apps. like asked above, maybe can be used generically?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Heckles Avatar
24 months ago

I'm in Ontario and it's not working on my iPhone running iOS 14. The COVID-19 Exposure Logging setting doesn't allow me to turn it on, citing "Not available in your region".
This is why:
Even though the system is still rolling out in some areas, Canada recommends all Canadians install the app, which can be downloaded from the iOS App Store. iOS 13 is required for Exposure Notification apps, as iOS 14 does not support the API.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpn Avatar
24 months ago
japan is one of the countries that uses the google/apple developed Exposure Notification API.

on the japan ministry of health's (the developer of the local tracking app) page you can learn two data points:
1 the number of downloads to date of the local app that uses the google/apple API
2 the number of positives that persons infected have chosen to share

on july 31 as of 17:00, the number of downloads in japan of the local app was 9,960,000, and the number of shared positives was listed as 92.

the number of downloads in japan is growing by about 1 million per week.

there is no noticeable degradation of daily battery life on my phone since installing this.
countries which have released non-google/apple api versions are finding daily heavy battery life problems.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...