The COVID-19 pandemic is the first pandemic after smartphones penetrated society globally. Consequently, there are not sufficient experiences and understanding of how to engage citizens in information and scientific processes that create public awareness and responsibilities according to scientific needs. For effective measures aiming to sustain the pandemic crisis, an efficient collaboration of academia, economy, culture-based, and media-based public and politics is crucial. With help of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) approach for assessment, COVID-19 tracking apps (CTAs) of different countries are analysed with help of a qualitative content analysis according to their reward mechanisms. The analysis includes correlation different rewards to voluntary participation. The MARS approach consists of engagement, functionality aesthetics and information quality. The protection of voluntariness is understood as the fundamental need for the ethical use of CTAs. Accordingly, patterns of voluntariness are examined in the context of legal, ethical privacy and security policies of selected CTAs. In this context, this paper will provide categories and criteria for CTA usage and its impact on citizen engagement in the Quintuple Helix collaboration process aiming to get insights into features and functionalities needed in CTAs and increased voluntary use of the public.