[community] Is COVID Alert an Inclusive Design Fail?

Justin Obara obara.justin at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 21:04:15 UTC 2020

Hi John,

I haven’t tried the app, but it may be using the new APIs that Apple and Google developed to help with contact tracing. They worked together to create this rather quickly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they only work on the latest OSs. You can see more info from Google’s Exposure Notification <https://www.google.com/covid19/exposurenotifications/> page and Apples Newsroom post: “Apple and Google partner on COVID-19 contact tracing technology <https://www.apple.com/ca/newsroom/2020/04/apple-and-google-partner-on-covid-19-contact-tracing-technology/>”. It sounds like they are going to build the functionality into the platforms eventually, but I’m not sure if that means it will be available on older OSs.


> On Aug 4, 2020, at 4:37 PM, John W (personal) <pickupwillis at gmail.com> wrote:
> the new Covid Alert app just released in Ontario apparently requires users
> to have the latest device / software, leaving low-income and more
> marginalized folks -- aka people most likely to contract the virus -- out
> of the loop.
> I verified this myself yesterday when I could not install it to my iPhone 6
> because it requires iOS 13.5
> WTF? is this an inclusive design fail of top ranking, or can someone with
> greater technical knowledge dismiss my budding outrage?
> maybe it's just an MVP, okay - but surely the communication on this is
> feeble and misguided because word is already out that it's for the
> privileged few. Sheesh!
> j
> -- 
> *John D. Willis | CE CAIP MDes*
> Design & Innovation in Public Services
> Toronto CANADA
> Garbled text? My apologies - speech-to-text technology is still a work in
> progress...
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