NHS Covid-19 app won't work unless I update Google Play Services

I have just installed the new (UK) NHS Covid-19 app published by the UK DHSS, into my Work profile. I downloaded it from Aurora. It warns me that it won’t work unless I update Google Play Services.

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

That is a common problem with COVID-19 apps and there are several topics about it

I guess it helps to read this one: Dutch Coronamelder app needs "current" G**gle Play Services


The new (British) NHS Covid-19 app version 3.6 (68).68 from 23.09.2020 works for me with microG Services Core version

A few screenshots instead of long words:

UK-NHS-Covid-19_8 UK-NHS-Covid-19_7 UK-NHS-Covid-19_6 UK-NHS-Covid-19_5 UK-NHS-Covid-19_4 UK-NHS-Covid-19_3 UK-NHS-Covid-19_2 UK-NHS-Covid-19_1 UK-NHS-Covid-19_9

Stay healthy and safe.

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I only see version 3.1.0 available here. I’ll wait a couple of days and look again.

UK NHS Covid-19 app version 3.6 (68).68 is from the Aurora Store …


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OK. I’ve found that version, but it still requires an update of Google Play services before it will run. I’m using the Covid-19 Zoe symptom reporting app, so I think I’ll forget about this Government/Google/Apple thingy. Thanks for your help.

Hi @drbobw,
what (custom) ROM do you use that you need the Google Play services? It can’t be a /e/OS in any case.

Yes, it’s /e/ pre-installed on a Fairphone3. The warning appears in a dropdown at the top of the screen during the setting up procedure for the NHS Covid-19 app. Soon after the postcode entry screen.

I’m on MicroG version and it doesn’t work without the “update Google Play Services” notification. The phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5 (klte.) I didn’t expect it to work but this information might stop someone else wasting their time.

Edit: and yes, it is definitely /e/OS

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Basic requirement is microG Services Core version All other versions will not work.

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That’s what many of us are waiting for, that it will be included in next update, right? How did you manage to update it, as it is a system app?

I have tried different installation variants. I think the installation of MicroG is not very easy because it has to become part of the system. In order for ‘Exposure Notifications’ to be enabled, all the checkboxes in the microG ‘Self-Check’ must be checked.

The easiest way for all eOS users would /e/ be to upgrade to microG Services Core version The discussion about this is known to the interested forum readers.

Now I have set up a Galaxy S5 (klte) with the four weeks old build e-0.11-p-2020082870302-dev-klte. It still included the microG Services Core version

Then TWRP Recovery installed the ‘Stable Releases’ NanoDroid-22.9.20200910.zip. The disadvantage of this method is that now a lot of apps were installed - but, after all, they are FOSS apps from the F-Droid Store. Well, every medallion has two sides. The advantage of NanoDroid is that it can be uninstalled just as easily - with the NanoDroid-uninstaller-22.9.20200910.zip

The Aurora Store was also installed. Very handy, only I had to search for a while until I found the (UK) NHS Covid-19 app version 3.6 (68).68 from 23.09.2020. In short: the Corona Warn app also works on a Galaxy S5 (klte).

eoskltemicrog4 eoskltemicrog5 eoskltemicrog3

eoskltemicrog2 eoskltemicrog1 eoskltemicrog6

Note: I haven’t done any further system tests yet, but I haven’t found any impairments. Nevertheless: Imitation please only on your own risk and at your own danger. This variant is also only intended as a temporary solution.


OK, if I got it right, this is no option for me, as I am on an FP3. This has got a re-lockable bootloader and unlocking would wipe the device. I think I will have to wait for the promised update :frowning:

Thanks for the info. Too risky for me so I’ll wait for an update.

You may want to try re-installing with root installation in Aurora. I had a tethering app installed from Aurora that demanded it be installed from official play store. Set root installation preference in aurora settings and that by-passed whatever check it was doing. It may work for services version check in your situation, won’t hurt anything either way and can be uninstalled if it doesn’t work. You can always ask Rahul on his Telegram channel, micro-g is OT for Aurora telegram but I think your problem is in an area gray enough to be asked about.

Just to make sure I understood correctly. If I install nanodroid via TWRP, this should also update microG thus enabling contact tracing?

Would I need to re-install /e/ from scratch or can I just go ahead and install it to my phone as is? I use a Fairphone 3, but kept the bootloader unlocked.

In any case thanks for you instructions. Sounds like I should create a backup before attempting it though. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes @DarthDavester, you have understood everything in my mind.

A backup always makes sense. Even before a /e/ OS OTA update. A few weeks ago an OTA update for the S5 (klte) was faulty. I thought “it will work fine” and did not make a backup. Well, it did not go well …

I just repeated my experiment on a freshly installed S5 (klte) /e/ OS e-0.11-pie including microG Services Core version Note: My device is not rooted.

This time I didn’t install the complete NanoDroid suite, but only NanoDroid-microG-22.9.20200910 via TWRP. The installation ran without failures. Now microG Services Core version 0.2…12.203315 is working in /e/ OS.

The installation of the (UK) NHS Covid-19 app version 3.6 (68).68 was just as fast and without complications.

Stay healthy & safe

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Thanks for your reply!

I am still unsure as to whether installing nanodroid needs to occur on a fresh install or if I could theoretically just boot into TWRP right now and install it.

But maybe I’ll just give it a try :slightly_smiling_face:

I just followed these instructions for klte & can confirm it works. It’s just unfortunate that NanoDroid adds so many unwanted apps.

@DarthDavester, first make a data backup, then install on the existing configuration. It can’t be more than lopsided ;-)/

@Vaughan, please read posting #17. It works differently too.