The company announced cooperation
Google and Apple hope to work together to fight the spread of coronavirus. To this end, the two companies are developing a unified standard for contact measurement via Bluetooth. This should be integrated into Android and iOS, so no other applications are required.
In order to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, more and more countries want to use mobile phone data to track the contacts of infected people. Such applications have been used in Singapore for several weeks and use Bluetooth to determine who is very close in daily life. If an application user is found to be infected, the authorities can contact the contact and issue a warning.
The Robert Koch Institute [RKI] has also released the Corona app in Germany, but it works differently. The Corona Data Donation application collects all user data and reports to RKI any abnormalities indicating corona infection. Therefore, this hopes to better track the spread of the virus in the country.
However, each method requires the user to download an application first. Of course, this is a suppression threshold that can reduce the number of participants. Therefore, Google and Apple hope to integrate similar functions of Bluetooth-based contact measurement into their mobile operating systems Android and iOS. A unified standard will be developed so that devices can still communicate with each other despite different systems.
Programming interface should be available in May
In the first step, the two companies plan to integrate the corresponding programming interface into their mobile phone operating system in May. They can then be used by applications from health authorities. A proper interface makes it easier for developers to work and significantly reduces the development time of new applications. In the second step, the functions should be integrated directly into the system. In this way, users will no longer need to download applications.
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According to the joint press release of the two companies, data protection, transparency and voluntary participation should still be guaranteed. It remains to be seen how fast the second step will be implemented. Although updates for Apple iOS are rapidly penetrating the market, the release and distribution of Android updates usually takes several months due to the large number of models and manufacturers using the platform.
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