Coronavirus / Covid-19 notifications could not be activated: FAILED_SERVICE_DISABLED

Got a new phone and wanted to set up a local Coronavirus / Covid-19 exposure app but it just can’t be turned on? The solutions are simple: either wait a few hours for everything to update, or wait a few years, for developers to make usable error codes. Grr

I installed SwissCovid on a new Android phone and tried to activate proximity tracing. It threw a useless error message with:

COVID-19 notifications could not be activated  
FAILED_SERVICE_DISABLED  
17: API: Nearby.EXPOSURE_NOTIFICATION_API is not available on this
device.   
Connection failed with: ConnectionResult { statusCode =
UNKNOWN_ERROR_CODE(39503), resolution=null, message=null }  
OK

No, it is not OK. Looking for the error FAILED_SERVICE_DISABLED, you can find the official documentation. It mentions: 

    case ExposureNotificationStatusCodes.FAILED_SERVICE_DISABLED:  
      // The functionality was disabled by the user or the phone.

… which is totally useless.

No, nothing was disabled by the user or the phone.

The solution was simple. Update the Google Play Services. You can do this manually, or you can just wait a few hours until your phone feels like updating really everything. 

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Rant on the Internet, and not in person.

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