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Apple and Google’s Jointly Developed Contact Tracing Tools Might Be Ready Next Week

It’ll make things simpler for developers of tracing apps

Apple and Google’s jointly developed, cross-platform tracing API will be available to developers by next week, way ahead of schedule. This was revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook via a video call to European commissioner Thierry Breton.

The new API will help developers create contact tracing apps vital to identifying both positive and potential COVID-19 carriers more easily while at the same time respecting the privacy of users, especially important in the EU where privacy protections have been strengthened in the past few years.

Governments Newest Weapon Against The Coronavirus: Your Phone

Apps that have access to the API will be able to use randomized IDs not tied to a user’s information and does not collect any geographic data.

Google and Apple’s efforts will use a phone’s Bluetooth receiver to transmit data to other devices in range and notifies people who have been in close contact with positive COVID-19 patients, telling them to self-isolate and watch out for symptoms. Singapore’s TraceTogether app already does this to some extent, but Apple and Google’s efforts will allow developers to make similar apps faster and deploy them quickly. The Philippine government is also developing a similar app as well. 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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