Disaster App for iPhone: This update is a must

Disaster App for iPhone: This update is a must

In an emergency, every minute and every warning counts. But the disaster app NINA has not yet done this, at least not on the iPhone in every situation. After strong criticism from Stiftung Warentest a month ago, the federal government is finally improving.

Update from September 7th, 2021: With the currently published update to version 3.4.0 (view in the App Store) of the disaster warning app NINA, the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid (BBK) has taken on the previous criticism from Stiftung Warentest and delivers the Support for Critical Alert within iOS according to.

Means: From now on, users will receive civil protection and weather warnings by sound even if the iPhone is muted or in "Do not disturb" mode. This makes this update a real must, because this is the only way the app will actually issue a warning at all times.

A dark mode for the app and other improvements have also been added , especially with regard to the recently criticized energy consumption.

Original article:

Stiftung Warentest examined the disaster warning apps that were recently in focus and discovered an obvious weak point for users of an iPhone. Nina, Biwapp, Katwarn and warning weather were examined - all of them fail mercilessly on one point (source: Stiftung Warentest).

Stiftung Warentest: disaster warning apps knocked out by iPhone function

If you activate the popular "Do Not Disturb" function on the iPhone, the apps mentioned do not issue a warning and simply remain silent in an emergency. So if you use the function overnight, for example, you are exposed to danger in the event of an emergency because an important alarm cannot be reported. But shouldn't warning messages of a high level get through to the user better, regardless of whether "Do not disturb" is active?

In principle, this is possible, but app developers must also apply to Apple to use the "Critical Alerts" function . However, all of the apps we tested explicitly failed to do this - quite an absurdity.

Of course, Stiftung Warentest asked those responsible for a statement , the answers varied. While Nina and Biwapp now want to deliver the function in the next update, the necessity of the feature is still checked in warning weather. At Katwarn, however, the integration of "Critical Alerts" is generally not planned.

How does such a warning app work at all, explained in the video using the example of Nina:

Android users do not have the problem, by the way, because with Google's smartphone system you can specify for each app individually whether messages should also be put through for "Do not disturb" - exceptions for the disaster warning apps are therefore expressly possible.

What can you do now?

And what do owners of an iPhone do now? The Stiftung Warentest advises: If you do not want to do without warning messages, you should better not activate "Do not disturb" and set the iPhone to "loud". If you don't want to be disturbed by other messages in your sleep, you should deactivate the notifications for these apps individually.

If you ask us, not exactly comfortable and almost impossible in practice with the multitude of apps. So one can only hope that at least Nina and Biwapp keep their promise and come up with the respective update as soon as possible.

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