Apple and Google have collaborated during trying season to bring better COVID-19 contact tracing technology through apps for smartphones. The technology will reportedly use Bluetooth and also feature better user privacy.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, when millions of people have been affected by the deadly virus and thousands have lost lives, Apple and Google have announced a collaboration to help governments and health agencies to reduce the spread of the virus. Apple has already released its COVID-19 app and website, but the upcoming tech will be even more useful.
As of now, there’s no direct cure for the COVID-19 illness, and governments and health agencies have identified social distancing and contact tracing as extremely helpful to help contain the virus. To that effect, Apple and Google have joined hands to make developed APIs and operating system level technology.
The companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS through apps from public health authorities. Those apps would be available to consumers through the App Store and the Play Store. In the coming months, Apple and Google will work on a broader contact-tracing platform by integrating these APIs directly into iOS and Android.
Integration of COVID-19 contact tracing APIs would help, if users choose to opt-in and choose to report that they’ve come in contact with the virus, in interaction with a broader collection of apps and health authorities. The companies would make sure that a user’s privacy is maintained and that user consent and transparency would be of utmost respect.
The tech giants would also be releasing the draft technical documentation, including specifications for Bluetooth and cryptography, as well as framework documentation.
Both Apple and Google believe that there has never been a more important time than this for technology, brands, government, and people to work together in defeating a life-threatening pandemic. The companies plan to harness the power of technology and help all the countries around the world to slow the spread of the virus, save lives, and help the world to get back to normal.
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