A Design Tool Made for SwiftUI

Apple and Google Partner for COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Today Apple announced a special partnership with Google to develop contact tracing technology designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months. The plan involves two steps:

First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.

Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.

Additionally, Apple has published draft technical documentation covering their joint work with Google.

This marks only the latest of several efforts Apple has developed to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The company developed an app and website, in partnership with the CDC, to help people with symptoms know what they should do. Additionally Tim Cook has been tweeting periodic updates about the masks and face shields the company has sourced and developed to send to first responders. Today’s partnership with Google, however, may be the most significant effort to date.

The World Health Organization explains how contact tracing – which involves keeping track of anyone who has been in contact with an infected person – can help limit the transmission of disease. Although current social distancing policies are a strict form of containment, well-implemented contact tracing could help prevent the need for such drastic measures in the future.

I’m glad that Apple and Google are collaborating on this effort, and that it will be privacy-first and opt-in. Anything that can be done to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is a good thing.

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it’s also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’ll also give you access to advanced iOS shortcuts, tips and tricks, and lots more.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available.

Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • MacStories Unplugged podcast, published monthly with discussions on what we’re working on and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.