Google, Apple building COVID19 tracing into Android, iOS 9to5Google

One way to track the spread of COVID-19 across a population is through contact tracing. Apple and Google today announced a “joint effort” that leverages Bluetooth on Android and iOS devices to “help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus.”

The two companies are launching a “comprehensive solution” for contract tracing that encompasses “application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing.”

This is an alternative to relying on location data approaches from carriers and other telecom companies that some countries around the world have already implemented.

Based on these upcoming tools, governments will be able to build apps that work across Android and iOS. These APIs will be available by May, and those “official apps” from public health agencies can be downloaded through Google Play and the App Store.