Apple and Google today announced a partnership to create contact tracing technology for COVID-19.
The two companies are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security.
In May, Apple and Google will release APIs that enable interoperability between
Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores according to Apple’s press release.
“All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to
work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close
cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”
Apple and Google announced in the coming months that they 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.
If you would like to read the full press release, you can read it on Apple Newsroom.