In response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, two of the largest tech companies in the world are "in the spirit of collaboration," joining forces to create a contact tracing technology that will be both available on iOS and Android.

According to a recent company announcement on the Google blog, Apple and Google will be launching "a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing."

Apple and Google
(Photo : Unsplash)

COVID-19 contact tracing system to launch on iOS and Android

Aside from implementing COVID-19 testing on a massive scale and implementing social distancing, contact tracing has become essential in the battle against the Coronavirus.

This involves identifying the people a patient with the virus has come in contact with and preventing them from infecting others.

The initiative from Apple and Google will use Bluetooth technology to create a "voluntary contact-tracing network."

According to a report on The Verge, "official apps from public health authorities will get access to this data, and users who download them can report if they've been diagnosed with COVID-19. The system will also alert people who download them to whether they were in close contact with an infected person."

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Apple and Google
(Photo : Unsplash)

Apple and Google are building a Coronavirus tracking system 

The project will have two steps: in May, Apple and Google will release APIs that will "enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities." Users of both operating devices can then download these apps from their respective app stores.

In the second phase, Apple and Google will then try to build this contract tracing function into their respective underlying operating systems

In a tweet on April 11, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he and Apple CEO Tim Cook "are committed to working together on these efforts." 

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