There has been a lot of negative publicity towards the Australian Government’s COVID-19 tracking app as of late but it has not deterred the authorities forging ahead and today they have launched COVIDSafe onto the Google Play Store.

In case you are unaware the app uses Bluetooth on your phone to look for other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed. The device will “take a note of contact you’ve had with others” and does so securely apparently by logging the other user’s reference code.

Then, if you or someone who you’ve been in contact with is diagnosed with COVID-19 the close contact information stored securely in your phone can be uploaded by state and territory health officials to trace others who have been exposed to the virus. Of course the phone asks for your permission to upload said information before doing so.

The opposite is of course also true where if someone you were in contact with is exposed to the virus or contracts it their data will be uploaded and you will be informed of this close contact so you can take appropriate steps and actions as directed by your state official.

To ensure the app works it needs to be continually running in the background which may or may not kill your battery — time will tell just how much battery life it consumes. Identities of those near you are not revealed to your device, just their reference numbers.

The app asks for your full name, age range and postcode, along with your phone number.

The app does attempt to explain how the app works and how it helps with the spread of COVID-19. How many people actually read that will be interesting. It is important to read it though to allay any fears of privacy someone may have.

More details of the app can be found at the Government’s new website but hopefully this app can do what it is meant to do which is prevent community spread of the COVID-19 disease and do so securely without leaking anyone’s details.

I’m not sure I trust the government not to leak these details somewhere. The app was meant to be open source and open source will usually lead to better security as researchers look for holes and ways to improve it but unfortunately the government back tracked on that. Today’s inauspicious launch has many wondering just how much they can trust the app, and with good reason.

The sooner we can prevent community spread the sooner we can get this country back to some semblance of normal, whatever normal will be on the other side of this. The app is also available for iOS devices if that is how you roll.

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Catherine P Osborne

Downloaded Covid19 app 2 days ago after about 15 attempts but now getting new pin numbers. 8 yesterday and 5 so far today. How can I stop this.

Duncan Jaffrey

Hey Catherine, can you describe in a little more detail what’s happening? Also what device is this happening on?

Thanks Duncan

Lorelle Byers

I have tried to download app onto my son’s mobile, he is immune suppressed due to a transplant, he is also intellectually disabled.
To go back to work at a supermarket he needs this app but apparently although G4 the app is not available to his Samsung Galaxy J1mini. Too hard to teach him a new phone, too hard to buy a new phone and set up and what’s more he like this phone. No happy

Brian McNulty

Can’t load the app on my 2 year old Samsung J1 Galaxy, says it is incompatible. I just spoke with Samsung and they tell me it has an old version of software which can’t be upgraded. For a 2 year old p[hone this sounds pretty crappy. Well done Samsung, last time you will catch me!

Graeme Harrison

Does anyone know how to download the CovidSafe app on to a Samsung SM-G360G please.
I know it is old but it works and I only use it for phone calls and SMS messages.

Loraine Evans

Well it has been two days…turned off Wi Fi, left “0” off,Rebooted I Phone X 4 times..relaunched App a trillion times…..NOT recognising Mobile Number…Help !!!!


I tried to download the CovidSafe app from the Playstore and all I get is a message saying “… We’re working on finding apps in your area…”. It then directs me to two WHO apps. Do you have to have a new phone? Mine is about 4/5 yrs old and still works perfectly for me


I was also getting nowhere with my (valid) phone number, until I read elsewhere that you weren’t supposed to use numbers or symbols at the previous screen for your NAME – I was using a fake name containing letters & numbers. As soon as I changed that to all alphas the registration/PIN process then worked perfectly, and no more invalid phone number BS. If it allows you to use an “alias” for your name it should verify/checksum that field first if there are character restrictions before letting you proceed any further. Would save a lot of s#$t 🙁

Ray Bentley

Hi, I have a Samsung 9 plus, I cant download the app. I go through the process and a message comes up ” Will download app soon.” – that was 2 days ago

Kerri Moore

Can’t put my mobile phone number in won’t accept

Phil 1943

Couldn’t get phone number accepted on my android samsung phone or my wife’s iPhone. Tried all sort of variations. Finally, saw Natalie Morgan’s comment advising to turn off wi-fi before entering the phone number and it worked first time for both phones. Thanks Natalie! And BTW, drop the first zero from the phone number when you’re entering it.

David Earley

Won’t recognise my mobile number, in no zero format or with zero added

Pamela Dick

My experience as well.


I too kept getting invalid phone number and it’s worked perfectly after switching off wifi and Bluetooth.


I turned off wifi and it all worked, thank you

Mal B

turning on Mobile Data solved my number loading issue on a Huawei


Turn off WiFi before you enter details


that solved the problem Thanks Janine


I wasted so much time yesterday and couldn’t get my phone number recognized. Turning off WIFI did it. Thank you Janine.


Saying my mobile number is invalid


Totally useless if people that want to download it cant. I have tried both my wifes phone and my own and tells me that its not compatible. Which company is the developer of this app. I hope they weren’t paid. Our phones are both samsung galaxy J3. About 3 years old.


“incompatible” with all my high end latest Samsung devices – classic Oz gov tech – never works. Idiots. No testing.


Samsung galaxy J3 here too. Incompatible


Yes, also my experience also with Samsung galaxy J3

Michelle Jadrijevic

Won’t accept my mobile number to generate pin

Natalie Morgan

I kept getting Invalid phone number , so I checked , everybody needs to turn off the wifi whilst inputting your ph number

Susan Bradley



Thanks for helpful information


I didn’t and it worked for me


It worked once I turned off wifi thanks for the help!


Tried that and still not able to get pin, mobile number still invalid……


Boss can’t seem to enter the PIN on his Huawei phone. He goes to the text to note the PIN and when he goes back to the app it’s started all over again. Tried a dozen times now. Easy for me on the Iphone. Just tapped the number when it popped up the top and it auto filled. Help appreciated. Boss getting very cranky here

Rona Richmond

I’m having exactly the same problem 🙁


1pm on the 27th and still doesn’t accept phone number


I love the idea of this app, but they are already contradicting themselves. The COVIDSafe website explicitly states that “To further strengthen the app’s privacy arrangements the Minister for Health made a Determination under the Biosecurity Act to protect people’s privacy and restrict access to app information to state or territory health officials for contact tracing purposes only.” The privacy policy for COVIDSafe instead states that “We will also use or disclose your personal information to: ensure the proper and lawful functioning of COVIDSafe if it is necessary, prosecute a breach of the law in relation to contact tracing under… Read more »

Kathleen Tamblyn

I have a Samsung Galaxy J1 phone, tried to download the COVIDSafe App (in Australia) but was advised my phone NOT compatible… Any ideas?


its 11:21, downloaded and unable to add phone number. returning “invalid phone number” error.

running android 10 and March-20 Security patch, so even with the latest stuff, its busted.

A less the stellar piece of coding and testing/verification before release. If they can’t get this right……………

Susan Bradley

Turn off wifi first


The COVID safe app will not download to either my or my husband’s phones (HTC). The app says it is incompatible. So can’t even put in.


I am having the same issue – with a phone that’s only max. 3 yrs old


Why won’t the Covid Safe app load on a HTC One mobile phone

Michael Rezuk

We just tried to put our phone numbers in also , and it wont accept , the same excuse is given


Disconnect your WiFi.


Worked for me once I turned Off wi-fi thanks

Kerri Moore

Tried that didn’t work


If i’m locked down in my house why TF do I need to install this? Unless there is wide scale testing, without the stupid criteria they have imposed in the past, then people will not know they are positive and this is useless. Also you are relying on people to add honest results. What if 100’s/1000’s people say they are positive when they are not? Will that push as to further lockdown? You can enter a pseudonym, but need to register you number which gives them your true identity anyway.


Just on the off chance that an apple user comes this way… or to help our other friends and family. The iOS link isn’t correct, the iOS app has the same name, COVIDsafe

Scott Plowman

thanks for that. We copied the link from the govt website originally. i shall fix it now

Jim Grace

Had problem invalid phone number
Found that it worked after I disabled WiFi
Must need to use mobile data

Daniel Narbett

I found the same this morning – though I suppose it could just have been time passing


Not ‘Fakebook’. Arsepage. Because is definitely is NOT a face, and it most certainly is not a book.
You missed another, the blue bird of stupidity which the incumbent US Presidunce loves, Twatter.


Reckons my mobile number is invalid and time is well past 6.00pm


Won’t except my number either


Got it going by turning off WiFi on my phone.


Same problem Deb

Edward Jackson

I’ve installed the app, and keep an eye on battery drain over the next few days.

Aravind Naidu

Registration working fine. After 1800 AEST. Easy as.


I like how the link to the play store above has the PRICE classification of “To be announced”… the price of your privacy isn’t known yet 😉

App is on and running… will see how battery life gets impacted

Paul Smedley

Registration working now

Daniel Narbett

Just checking – has it actually worked for you, or just time passed the theoretical 6pm eastern ‘go live’ time? Thanks! I was totally defending the app as NOT being broken before 6pm, but still wasn’t working for me after…though hopefully it starts working (and I’m still going to use it and recommend it, it’s just fun to point out how often we get govt tech wrong)

Paul Smedley

It worked at the time I posted – around 5:15pm Adelaide time (If I recall correctly)


Can’t put mobile phone number in to get PIN number have tried full number and leaving the 0 off


Turn off WIFI


So badly designed, instead of saying regos open at 6pm 26 apr, just errors out

Marlene jack

Won’t accept my phone numbrt

Jeffrey Camden

Not accepting phone number

Alan Fallah

Won’t allow me to register. Says my mobile number is invalid!



Daniel Narbett

Same still!


Typical idiots. Looks like reading comments below that no phone number till later today. Why not some instructions explaining that!


ok will try at 4 p.m. Perth time.


app wont accept my mobile number


Hi Team,
I’m also getting an invalid phone number.
Is this because registration doesn’t open until 6pm tonight 26/04?

Jeff Dean


Graham Gourley

Same problem!


Join the discussion…Same here it won’t recognise my model phone – a Samsung J1-20ZN as being compatible. FFS!!!!!

Brett Adams

Registration opens at 6PM AEST.


Great to see so many uploading the app. Thanks for keeping me safe

Jeff Dean

You can’t register on the app until after 6pm today Sunday 26/04/20


Apparently the app is not live until 6pm tonight

Daniel Narbett

It’s downloadable but NOT YET LIVE – goes live at 6pm Australian eastern standard time today I think (when presumably the phone number issue will go away)


What an insane plan by the government.
1. Tell everyone an app is coming and they should all install it
2. Release app

* Some time later *
3. Turn on infrastructure to allow the app to work.

– I feel like that’s the wrong order!

Daniel Narbett

Yep!! Though possibly they gave google a ‘go live’ time and it’s them that got confused 😉

Robert Townsend

Same here, it will not accept my phone number

Robert Townsend

Same as many others will not accept my phone number