Apple iPhones are great piece of gadget to have onboard. Not only are they some of the most advanced smartphones available in the market right now but they are also privacy friendly, which makes them the default choice of millions of smartphone users across the globe. However, iPhone users living in the United Kingdom might be at a disadvantage compared with the Android smartphone users as the government is asking the Apple device owners to brrow Android smartphones.
Well, that might seem like an odd thing, especially coming from the government. But there is a perfectly legit reason for it. Apparently, the European Union nationals who want to secure their residency in the United Kindgom need to apply for the EU settlement scheme to stay in the country. As a part of the process, they need to scan and submit their proof of identity. Now, the Home Office has released an app called the “EU Exit: ID Document Check” to help EU nationals residing in the UK to submit their identity proof.
Here lies the catch. While the app is available on the Google Play Store for the Android users to download and submit their documents, no such app exists for iPhone users yet. In the instruction available on the UK government website for applying for the EU settlement scheme, the Home Office says that the residents can only use their Android smartphones for scanning the documents. “You can only use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app for Android to scan your document if you have one of the following..” the website states.
To the people who do not have an Android phone, the page recommends “borrowing an Android phone”. “You can use someone else’s Android phone to prove your identity” the website states. UK-based newspaper, the Financial Times, also confirmed that the iPhone users are being asked to “borrow” Android phones for the same. Borrowing an Android phone is not the only alternative that iPhone users in the UK have. They can also submit their documents by post or by going to a government authorised centre to submit their documents.
With an Android app in place and the chances of the UK leaving the EU on October 31, it seems odd that the Home Office – the one that is responsible for the settlement – wouldn’t release an iOS based app. An iPhone based app is already in work. However, EU settlement scheme page states that “the ID Document Check’ app will be available for iPhone by the end of 2019”, without giving an exact date when the app will be available to the users.
So, in the absence of iOS based app, the 2.6 million of the 3.6 million EU nationals who still haven’t applied for a settled status might have to borrow and Android phone (or send in their documents by post or visit their nearest settlement centre) to complete the formalities.