The HSE says it's working with Google to identify and fix phone battery issues some people using the COVID Tracker app are reporting.
The executive said the issue reported by some Android users "appears to be related to a recent Google Play Services update and is not related to the COVID Tracker app".
Recent days have seen number of social media users reporting their Android phone batteries are being drained in a matter of hours while the contact tracing app is running.
Had to delete the Covid app this morning @HSELive, drained my battery twice yesterday and then overnight it died again. I'm not sure it's worth it if my phone is literally never on at the moment 😂
— Sue Murphy (@IllSueYa) August 9, 2020
Responding to affected users, the HSE says it's now working with Google and developers to identify and fix the issue.
The executive said: "We have escalated the battery issue that some people with Android phones are having to Google.
"The issue appears to be related to a recent Google Play Services update and is not related to the COVID Tracker app."
In a statement, Google said it was aware of the reports and is working with the developer to "fix this as soon as possible".
As a temporary fix, a number of users have recommended uninstalling the app, clearing the cache in Google Play and then reinstalling the app.
Here's how you can fix the issue:
Delete the app. Clear the cache in Google Play. Restart the phone. Reinstall the app and all should be good. https://t.co/Tpxz1UTtdC
— Denise Breen 🖖🏳️⚧️ (@DeniseMBreen) August 8, 2020
Newstalk's Jess Kelly, meanwhile, is recommending people carry a battery pack and charger if needed rather than deleting the tracker app:
Quite a few people have been onto me about this.
There is an issue with Google Play Services. It is being worked on.
Bring a charger or battery pack if you're going out and about rather than deleting COVID Tracker... Particularly as the numbers are continuing to rise. pic.twitter.com/ByhwRoBRP4
— Jess Kelly 👩🏻💻 (@jesskellynt) August 9, 2020
The COVID Tracker app was launched just over a month ago, and now has more than 1.5 million registered users.
More than 130 people using the app have been alerted of a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.