COVIDSafe improvements continue with additional multilingual support

21 July 2020

Today’s update to COVIDSafe makes the app available in Greek and Italian, improves accessibility, reliability and performance

COVIDSafe was designed and launched during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. Since then, the DTA — with the support of users and the tech community — has made iterative enhancements to the app focusing on security, performance, and accessibility.

Today, we have released the latest update to COVIDSafe. This update results in better user experience, as well as strengthened app security and Bluetooth performance.

COVIDSafe and its help topics are now available in Italian and Greek, in addition to Arabic, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese. This provides a further half a million Australians with better usability and user experience.

We have made further accessibility enhancements as we work towards the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA by the next release.

Since the first version of the app was released in April, we have worked with the Australian tech community to enhance the app’s security and features. We thank everyone who has offered their feedback for their support and contribution to improving COVIDSafe.

COVIDSafe is an important tool that supports the meticulous and dedicated work of Australia’s manual contact tracers. We strongly encourage all Australians using the app to update it and benefit from the latest changes.

Update details

Multilingual access

COVIDSafe is now available in Italian and Greek. This is in addition to the 5 languages introduced in the last release: Arabic, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese. These languages are seven of the most spoken languages in Australia other than English.

If your device is set to any of the supported languages, the app will automatically translate into your selected language. 

The COVIDSafe website now also includes help topics in Italian and Greek, as well as the other translated languages. Users can access these help topics directly from the app. We plan to make the app available in more languages in future releases. 

We’ve also translated the COVIDSafe user guide into 63 languages. The user guide provides information on downloading and registering COVIDSafe, and how to make sure it is working correctly.

Enhanced accessibility

Improving the accessibility of COVIDSafe has been a priority. Today’s release includes changes to the fields required as part of the registration process, such as age range and pin code, to improve compatibility with Talkback and VoiceOver technologies.

We have also made improvements to dynamic text functionality, which will result in better readability for users who require larger text.

We also continue to make improvements to the presentation of help topics on the COVIDSafe website. As well as updating the content of help topics, we have made it easier for people to find the information they need by separating technical topics from general information on the use of the app.

More accessibility improvements are coming as we work towards compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA by the next release.

Improved Notifications and Security

Today’s release improves usability for Android users who may have been experiencing issues with notifications.

We have also strengthened the security and the Bluetooth performance of the app, working with the technology community on several fixes.

Source code update and next release

We have updated the publicly available application source code in line with today’s release. To make sure we can continue to engage with the technology community, the community can provide direct feedback within the source code repository.

We are currently working on the next update to the COVIDSafe app, which we plan to release in a couple of weeks.

Visit the COVIDSafe website for more information or to access the application source code.

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