Oh, well done, well done

The NHS test and trace app cannot be downloaded by most over-sixties because their smartphones are too old, a new survey indicates.
A leading charity for older people has accused the government of failing to think through the needs of the group most vulnerable to the virus, after releasing findings that just 31 per cent of its members have installed the NHS Covid-19 app.
Of the majority who have not, nearly six in seven said it was because their mobile phone was too old to support the technology.
The app is available to download for free from the Android Market and Apple App Store. However, the technology only works on phones which have iOS 13.5 or above installed, or Android 5.0.
Android 5 was released six years ago, and most Android smartphones are compatible with the NHS app.
However, iOS 13.5 was only released in May 2020 so requires users to have a very up-to-date operating system.
In addition, iOS 13 is only compatible on the iPhone 6s and newer

People with feature phones are entirely out of luck of course. The market for feature phones still exists and, amazing, tends elderly. Because that’s how you make a phone with lovely great big buttons that are easy for elderly hands to find and elderly eyes to see.

Vry well done there.

18 thoughts on “Oh, well done, well done”

  1. My phone can’t install it, but not because it’s too old, its because it’s memory is too small. I can’t even install Facebook on it. I only use it for web browsing and Twitter and mainly for phone calls.

  2. I’m a software engineer, who worked on mobile devices, including the early “smart” phones, in the first half of the ’00s. My personal phone is a dumb Nokia candybar from ’06, that does all I need (calls and texts).

  3. My phone won’t install it because I’ve told it that I would hit it very hard with a hammer if it tried to.

  4. I use a feature phone because they’re small enough to slip in a pocket. My tablet lives at home, good luck tracking that. I think smart phones are too small to read on comfortably (I’m a big kindle user) while being too big to conveniently carry about.

  5. I didn’t even know what was meant by a feature phone until I looked it up. Just maybe, the apparent dearth of oldies not jumping in to “get the app” (see! I know all the terms!) is simply down to them being like me, and that’s that they’re completely unwilling to fall in with those who feel that the latest telephone is the only thing that matters in life? Or possibly, being that bit older and maybe wiser, they don’t trust any electronic contact with officialdom or the Establishment?
    I have a Nokia 3510 (I even had to refer to Prof. Google to find the number) which I bought in 2003, I think. It’s on its second battery. It’s been dropped many times. IT’S A TELEPHONE. I CAN RING PEOPLE. PEOPLE CAN RING ME. I do not want to know what’s going on on “social media” or get any frickin’ app.
    And now we start to see where doing so can lead. Police checking on those who haven’t complied mit ze orders!

  6. About 20 years ago the family started saying’ You’ve got to have a phone.’ ‘No, no!! I don’t want a phone.’ ‘Merry Christmas, here’s your phone.’

    I can more or less use it’s successor, but the keyboard is crap. But I have most of the numbers I might need in it’s memory.

    I carry it when I go for a walk (usually), the rest of the time it’s plugged in to recharge. Occasionally when I pick it up, I notice a message, but most people have better sense.

    Any app would totally overload it (and my comprehension of how the damned thing works.)

  7. Vodaphone sent me a text message a few weeks ago. It told me that as I hadn’t used my phone for six months, they were going to end my (PAYG) contract. I rang an old mate and we talked bollocks for some time, something I suspect all mobile telephones throughout the entire world are used for, most of the time.
    I should say that I also have an Irish mobile (another Nokia, bought in Athlone in 2007 for 30 yo-yoes with 10 yo=yoes credit) that, as I spend a lot of time there and is my only phone, does get used more.

  8. “People with feature phones are entirely out of luck of course”

    NO, we are actually very fortunate!

    I wish I still had enough working bits to keep one NEC G9 operational – A complete brick by modern standards, but with an extendable aerial it got a usable signal where no other phone would…

  9. My wife uses a feature phone because she suffers from arthritic hands, not uncommon in those of advancing years any other phone is simply not workable and there must be thousands out there with that condition.

  10. They can stick their app. My phone is perfectly capable of running it, but I think the entire concept of test and trace to be useless, intrusive and stupid.

    I do have an app that tells me what aircraft are overhead, what they are, where they are going and so on. I like that one.

  11. Samsung B2100 here, 2009 technology. AKA the builders phone, as you can drop it, dunk it, run over it, use oily and muddy fingers on it, probably use it as a hammer if you wanted, and it still works. Oh, and charge it once in a blue moon. Good luck with getting an app to work on that.
    My 80 yo mother has a similar if less rugged phone that makes calls and send texts, which she just about manages, with occasional help from yrs truly when she’s pressed all the wrong buttons and managed to switch the language to Swahili or something. There’s not a hope in hell of her being able to use a smartphone even if she was given a free one.

  12. Dumb phone I keep in my pocket for —mostly incoming— calls and text; the dumbest, cheapest available (around £15 in Tesco) because every six months or so it stays in my pocket and takes a spin in the washing machine. (SIM chips survive)
    I do have a smartphone, it stays switched off unless I need it: for maps/gps, weather radar, phases-of-the-moon….

  13. “They can stick their app. My phone is perfectly capable of running it, but I think the entire concept of test and trace to be useless, intrusive and stupid.”

    I’ve Google spying on me enough already.

    When I got my S5, I did not put a gmail account on it. No email. My desktop is my email computer. No email means no new apps. It also limits the ways Google can spy on me, or mess with my phone. They still do, but just less.

    “I do have an app that tells me what aircraft are overhead, what they are, where they are going and so on. I like that one.”

    I have a link on my phone to flightaware.com. It provides aircraft information as you describe. Dunno if it will work in Europe. Anyhoo, it’s a website and not an app, so I can use it, without having to download it.

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