TraceTogether 2.0 Adds Barcode Feature, Shows Number of Exchanges with Other Users

TraceTogether 2.0 has new features! If you noticed that the TraceTogether app icon has changed to red and you have not clicked on it yet, you have to read this.

The TraceTogether app is a combined effort by MOH and GovTech to ease the “pain” of contact tracing. You can read the details here. It started quite well but it just did not grow large enough to make an impact on contact tracing.

From my last knowledge, it has less than 1.5 million downloads which is fewer than expected given that most Singaporeans have smartphones. Based on feedback, some are worried about their privacy, and some worried about battery life.

In my opinion, the biggest reason is that this app does nothing (on the front) and it closes even without you noticing it. So, people will just “forget to use it” or will not even want to install it.

Now, with TraceTogether 2.0, it is slightly different. It shows you how many exchanges with other TraceTogether users you had for the day, and you can use it to check-in at all SafeEntry locations (if the location has scan barcode facilities).

Here is the App release notes

Version 2.0

We have a new look!

With this update, you will now need ID verification in order to register for TraceTogether. This allows you to receive personal medical information related to COVID-19 through TraceTogether.

We have also added support for more languages and a NRIC/FIN barcode feature that facilitates quick and secure check-ins at all SafeEntry locations.

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Here is how you can set up your TraceTogether 2.0 app. I am using an Android phone. The process is similar to iOS phones.

How To Setup ID Verification

First, you need to update the TraceTogether App to the latest version which the icon is now red in color (Version 1 is blue in color). Once you enter the app for the 1st time, you will be greeted with this screen. Click on “Start Set Up”. You can change the language (Chinese, Malay, Hindu) if the default English language is not familiar to you.

On the next screen, you will need to choose the type of verification for the app. I selected NRIC which is what Singaporeans will choose. However, you can choose accordingly based on the options provided. Click on “Proceed” to go to the next step.

At this point, you need to have your NRIC card to see the date of issue. Click on “Proceed” to the next step which is to fill in your full name on NRIC, NRIC number, and the date of issue.

Once done, you will enter the main menu as shown below. You can see the SafeEntry option which is useful for displaying your barcode for SafeEntry location that has barcode readers.

And one of the new features is that you can see how many times you have exchanged with TraceTogether users. I have 19 instances and the only place I visited today is a coffeeshop to buy dinner.

You can click on the “More” to get to the screen shown below where you can change the language, see your profile, get Help, or report vulnerabilities. I don’t you will need to come here at all.

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I must say that adding the SafeEntry feature and displaying information on the exchanges with other TraceTogether users are very clever moves. Now, you will want to fire up this app to use the barcode for SafeEntry, and if you are like me, you would want to see how many people you have come across on a single day (that uses this app).