Immuni reaches a historic milestone: the numbers of the app

Immuni downloads finally reach a consistent figure, but this seems not enough to ensure effective contact tracing

Immuni reaches 10 million downloads and reaches a historic milestone. Since the introduction of the app dedicated to contact tracing and containment of the Covid-19 epidemic to date, the application has sent over 80 thousand notifications, identifying more than 6 thousand infections and contributing to the tracking of contacts throughout Italy.

After a design phase that lasted several months, Immuni was finally released on June 1, 2020. Initially, the application saw a testing phase, which started on June 8 in four regions of Italy, namely Abruzzo, Liguria, Marche and Puglia. After a week, on June 15, 2020, its tracking capabilities were extended nationwide. In just the first 24 hours of availability in the Google Play Store and Apple Store digital stores, the app was downloaded more than 500 thousand times, until it reached and exceeded 10 million in the past few hours.

Immuni, how it went nationwide

Immuni's data, updated to December 13, 2020, speak of 10,020,850 downloads, divided into 7,386,834 (or 73.71%) on devices with Android operating system, and 2,634,013 (the remaining 26.29%) on devices with Apple iOS. The app managed to track 6,419 positive users and sent 81,274 risk exposure notifications generated by Immuni itself. However, as specified on the dedicated website, "the survey is partial because all notifications for iOS devices are detected and only one-third of those sent by Android devices that have the technology available to safely detect them."

These are not particularly high numbers, with a final result that is decidedly insufficient. There were some technical problems against the application, especially related to the integration of the app's code and the protocols decided by the two big names in smartphone operating systems, Apple and Google. To this were added the differences following the receipt of the notification of exposure to the virus, a system that has created no little turmoil among users.

Immuni, how it went regionally

The national average of Immuni downloads is, at the moment, 18.8% of the population, with some regions ranked among the most virtuous. Among these are Valle d'Aosta with 25.1% (more than 27 thousand downloads on a population over 14 years old, the minimum age for use, of about 110 thousand inhabitants), Tuscany at 24.6% (just under 811 thousand on over 3.3 million) and Emilia Romagna (953 thousand on about 3.9 million), where the app has been installed on the smartphones of 24.4% of citizens.

Between the regions, instead, where the app was downloaded to a lesser extent we find Sicily at 14.2% (612 thousand downloads on more than 4.3 million inhabitants), Calabria at 14.1% (about 241 thousand 1.7 million citizens) and Campania, black jersey with a percentage of 12.9% (650 thousand on 5 million). Puglia, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and Molise are also below the national average, at 16%, 16.2% and 16.5% respectively.

Io and Immuni, same numbers, different apps

In this period, however, another app is depopulating in Italy. It's IO, the app that allows access to cashback for digital expenses, i.e. made through electronic payments. At the moment IO has almost reached the numbers of Immuni: in fact, there are 8,870,102 downloads, most of which occurred after November 28 (date of entry into force of the "Cashback Decree"). This boom in downloads, in addition to causing many disruptions to the cashback system, has generated a strong controversy and a heated debate as Italians have been in much more of a hurry to download an app to get 150 euros for Christmas and much less of a hurry to download a potentially life-saving app.