Covid-19 apps, BLE and iOS 13.5 restriction

There are covid-19 apps restricted to BLE and iOS 13.5 and above only. There are so many iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 etc. still in circulation (they won't allow installing iOS 13.5), therefore I wish to know where exactly this restriction takes place.

1) Does iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 have technology that would allow a covid-19 app based on nearby Bluetooth devices work?

2) Exposure Notifications is supported on iOS 13.5 and above only. What is this restriction based on (hardware features or something else)?

3) Would it be theoretically possible to add Exposure Notifications to iOS version supported by iPhone 5s and iPhone 6?
Post not yet marked as solved Up vote post of jipto Down vote post of jipto


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We'll definitely take this as a feedback, and take the ability to extend the ability to older devices into consideration.

Currently Exposure Notifications is only available on 13.5 and up.

If it is feasible, please fix this as a #1 priority issue. Will save a considerable amount of lives globally.
I support Jipto's comment 100%. The technology just got released in where I live and I cannot get an exposure notification because I have an iphone 6.
Hi all, this thread helped me figure out why I am not seeing the CO Exposure Notifications as an option on my iPhone 5 (iOS 12.4.9). I am wondering if anyone has heard anything about potential to resolve this problem? Thanks.
Please add Covid-19 exposure function to iOS 12.4.9 & in all future updates for older iPhone owners - it’s in the best interest of the entire population of the planet!

I wholeheartedly agree with making iPhone 5 (and up) iOS usable for the COVID tracking app. This is a matter of worldwide security and must be as important as anything else Apple is working on now.
Thank you for the information. I have wasted a lot of time trying to download the CO Exposure Notification app on my iPhone 6 Plus. I'm almost 67 years old and happy with my old phone but concerned that the ability to have this vital app is limited to only those with newer phones. There are many, many people with older phones whose health (and lives) may hang in the balance because this app was unavailable to them. I'm hopeful it isn't because of mercenary business decisions and is instead simply an oversight. I'm certain that there are enough brilliant techs working for Apple to whom this problem would be only a minor challenge. Let's put some teeth into the idea that "we're all in this together" and please enable the app for people with older technology. Thank you.
Please enable this for older iOS versions and consequently older iPhones. I know many people still using them (we cannot be faulted if Apple products simply keep working well for a long time and / or people cannot currently afford new phones), and to not make this available is a major oversight. Thank you.
Please add the Exposure Notifications feature to iPhone 5 and 6’s in the next update. The ability to share exposure information is a tremendous tool in our collective fight against Covid-19. Thank for developing it. I hope it can be added to older phones.
Please add iPhone 6 to get Exposure Notifications. To important, not to have on older phones.
You can now update your older devices to iOS 12.5 which supports Exposure Notifications
What Covid-19 exposure app can you use on iPhone 6 plus?? Someone said that iOS 12.5 would be enough for a Covid-19 exposure app but it says iOS 13.5 is required.

Booooo 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻 Come on Apple! There should be a Covid-19 exposure notification app for iPhones 5 and up!!
I upgraded my 5s to 12.5 today and there is no Exposure notification available. So why did Apple provide 12.5 for the 5s if they didn't allow the Exposure app. Maybe Apple does not want 5s owners to survive.
Neitzel / Laura_NC

Exposure notifications appear to be available on 5s after updating to 12.5.

It’s not an app, but rather a native function that you must enable within the settings panel.
iOS 12.5 seems to have added the ability to run the covid-19 app, but the covid-19 app in the app store needs iOS 13.5 to install. Looks like they don't want us owners of older iPhones to have the app!