Apple COVID-19 Contact Tracing Tech Released in Beta – Next We Need Apps

Apple and Google’s joint efforts to develop tech to support COVID-19 contact tracing is starting to appear. But for now it’s just APIs. To make it work, we need health systems to build support for it into apps.

iOS Beta But No Apps:

Apple dropped a beta of iOS 13.5 on Wed, April 29th, with the API, they call the Exposure Notification API. But no app to use it, and without that it’s useless.

There seem to be hints that Apple will ship an app later this year, but that’s too late. It seems very odd that Apple would not add support directly into their own Health app.

WikiPedia has a really good page tracking apps being developed all over the world at COVID-19 apps.

Good Overviews of How It Works (Updated):

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a must read on this at Apple and Google’s COVID-19 Exposure Notification API: Questions and Answers. USA Today has a simple but good overview of how this works at Apple and Google join forces on tech for app that could warn you of coronavirus exposure.

UPDATE: MacRumors has added a good and more detailed overview at Apple’s Exposure Notification System: Everything You Need to Know.

I Expect California to Lead with Apps:

Given how tremendously well our Governor Gavin Newsom has been doing, I expect and hope that the state will release an app real soon. And/or our state’s health systems to add support for it to their existing apps.

Stanford University has a collaboration that they’ve been working on since Feb at

UK’s NHS Has Their Heads Up Their Ass:

BBC News reports in NHS rejects Apple-Google coronavirus app plan that they have their heads up their ass about this, and inserted up there pretty earlier before they knew what the hell they were talking about. While I respect the UK’s and EU’s strong stance on privacy, on this one they just don’t understand the tech. Let’s hope for their sake that they find a clue fast.

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