Users slam TraceTogether app over functionality and battery issues persistent since launch

As the Government tries to ease contact tracing efforts by introducing the mobile contact-tracing app called TraceTogether, the app, however, has received unfavourable feedback from users since its launch in March this year.

Earlier on 20 March, the Government launched the TraceTogether (TT) app which uses Bluetooth signal between phones to detect other TT used in close proximity and will notify users quickly if they are exposed to COVID-19.

In order for the country to further reopen its economy safely under Phase Three, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced on 20 October that the use of TT app and token would be made compulsory for entry at popular venues such as workplaces, schools, malls, food and beverage outlets and hotels across Singapore by the end of December this year.

They believe that with this measure, it will get at least 70 percent of Singapore’s population on the TT programme.

However, according to the Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, only about 2.7 million people, or 45 per cent of the population are currently using or have downloaded the TT app.

It was previously reported that Singaporeans are concerned about their data privacy when using the app despite assurances from the Government that the data is used to solely contact those who may have potentially contracted the virus and would not be misused.

Aside from data privacy issue, the TT app has also received bad reviews from the users, with many condemning it for its high consumption of their phone battery given that the Bluetooth has to be enabled at all times in order for the app to work properly.

Writing their reviews on the Google Pay Store and Apple Store, users voiced their disappointment over the TT app, lamenting that the issue of battery consumption has been raised since the launching of the app, however, “nothing has been done to address this problem.”

Some others are frustrated that the TT app interferes with their Bluetooth connection to other devices such as wireless earbuds and car audio system, adding that they “never have this problem before installing the TT app”.

“At this rate, I would rather petition the government not to use this app or even issue the token since it interferes with my life more than necessary,” a user wrote.

While the TT app includes a function for scanning SafeEntry QR codes, there were other users who complained that the app cannot scan valid SafeEntry QR codes, which instead can be scanned by Singpass and their smartphones camera.

Several users also voiced displeasure over inconsistencies of the app for Android and iPhone user. For example, the group check-in feature is only available for the iPhone version but not the Android version.

“Hope if you want to introduce features, make sure you can roll out the updates for all IOS at the same time,” a user wrote in his review.

The TT app, however has an average review rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store and 3.2 out of 5 stars on Apple Store.

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