Apple and Google, two of the biggest and oldest rivals in the tech community have partnered up to create a COVID-19 tracking feature for their respective platforms. The new technology is called contact-tracing and it will warn users if they’ve come into contact with anyone infected with the virus.
The technology is able to track nearly a third of the world’s population and monitors the data added by people into their public health app. So if a person has tested positive for COVID-19 and has added their data into a public health app then they will be told to isolate themselves.
Everyone else will be alerted about people infected with the virus and will be warned if they’ve come into contact with them.
Starting next month, Android and iOS users will be able to share anonymous data into apps being run by public health authorities. The two companies will also release frameworks so the authorities can manage the system as well.
In the coming months after May, Apple, and Google will add the feature directly into Android and iOS so that user information can be shared without an app. This will allow more individuals to participate and make the service available to a broader ecosystem of apps across the globe to billions of people.
Apple’s blog post regarding the contact tracing technology is concluded as follows:
All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems.
Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.