This is how the German app looks (and how it works)

It will take a few weeks before each of us can install the Corona Warning app. On a newly created website, you can already take a look at the app that is currently being developed by Telekom and SAP.

Corona Warn app is open source

At the request of the Greens and the SPD, the source code of the Corona warning app should be publicly verifiable. The companies commissioned with the development, Telekom and SAP, met this requirement. The entire project is open source and the complete source code has already been published on the developer platform Github.

For example, experts such as the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) can take a look at the source code and identify security gaps before the start. The CCC experts had found far-reaching security deficiencies in the Robert Koch Institute’s data donation app, which was published in early April. However, this app accesses significantly more user data. With the Corona warning app

This is what the Corona warning app looks like

If you install the Corona warning app, you will be greeted by a welcome screen. Clicking on “Let’s go” activates the tracing interface, which has already been prepared in the system with iOS 13.5 and for all Android smartphones from Android 6.

One click and the app is ready for use

Then you get to the start page of the app. Here you can see whether you have had a risk encounter in the last 14 days. It also shows you how long the app has been active in the last 14 days. Your own test results can be transmitted via a button.

The start page of the Corona warning app

If you click on the green (or possibly red) card, current tips on behavior are displayed. With a low risk, these are the well-known indications of regular hand washing and so on.

The Corona warning app provides behavioral information

If desired, your own risk determination can also be deactivated in the app.

This is how the Corona warning app works

If you install and activate the Corona warning app, the tracing function is activated by Google and Apple. Your smartphone will now send and search for IDs from other smartphones. These IDs change every 10-20 minutes to protect privacy.

In the event of a positive test result, you will be asked to upload your IDs from the last 14 days to a server. This is done in a few steps in the Corona warning app. The Corona warning app regularly downloads the IDs of people who have tested positive and thus checks whether a contact has taken place.

The fact that only the IDs of positively tested people are uploaded to a server on a voluntary basis should ensure the highest possible level of data protection. Personal data such as name or mobile phone number are not recorded by the app. The location data is also not accessed.

Germany relies on voluntariness

In contrast to other countries, such as India, the German Corona Warning app relies on voluntary action. Nobody is forced to install the app on their smartphone. Green and left politicians are also calling for a legal basis for the app. This is intended to rule out any misuse by government agencies or third parties and to limit the use of the app for the duration of the pandemic. Such a law has already been passed in Switzerland. Among other things, this stipulated that no one should suffer a disadvantage if they do not want to install the app.

Corona warning app only works within Germany

At the start of the app, it will only work between users of the German app. A comparison with the apps of other countries is not possible at the start. This is due to the different types of data storage and data comparison in the individual countries.

Low entry hurdle

To use the app, you need either:

  • an Android smartphone with Android 6 or later
  • an iPhone with iOS 13.5 or later

Around 85 percent of all smartphones worldwide meet these requirements. The rate is likely to be even higher in Germany. Here you can check whether the tracing interface is already available on your smartphone:


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