Categories: CoronavirusTechnology

Google and Apple may release Coronavirus tracking app sooner than intended


Google and Apple might make their Coronavirus tracking app available earlier than reported. The platform will be open for developers as early as April 28.

Tech is at the forefront of managing the spread of the Coronavirus. The key to stop the pandemic is a proper information campaign. Several tech companies have spearheaded the strategy.

Facebook has set up a Coronavirus information center with Facebook and Messenger. Google has also ramped up its efforts to push only verified information about the virus. Twitter has limited the spread of misinformation concerning 5G technology that caused unrest in some parts of Europe.

Google and Apple have also teamed up for a more personal information campaign among its users through a native app.

Earlier launch date for the Coronavirus tracking app

Last week, the two global tech companies announced that they are collaborating for a native app that can help track the spread of the virus. The app was initially set for release around May, but reports have shown that they might go live as early as April 28.

The news arrived after Apple CEO Tim Cook had a fruitful meeting with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton last Wednesday. The meeting with Cook focused on ensuring that the native app will be as secure as possible.

They did not specifically talk about Apple’s present rift with France. According to Breton, country-specific matters must be settled with the appropriate country leaders.

Rollout and download issues

The biggest problem of the Coronavirus tracking app is not the app development. Privacy is also not a big problem because this can be solved with proper legislation.

Adaption and awareness to the app is Google and Apple’s biggest problem as soon as the app is ready to run. Downloads of the app must hit a critical mass to determine whether or not the efforts have been worthwhile.

The two companies have already decided to implement the updates through a software rollout, but the issues do not get solved after that.

Multiple versions for Android and iOS

Google is already on its 10th version of the Android OS. Data has shown that not all of its users have updated to the most recent one.

The lack of update to the latest version can be attributed both to hardware problems and data connectivity. Failing to update the software means that Google has to create several versions of the app to fit each and every Android phone in its market.

The rollout of Apple will be much simpler as they control both the software and hardware systems of their iPhones. Nevertheless they also still have to make multiple software versions of the tracking app.

Images courtesy of Apple and Engin Akyurt/ Unsplash

Steven Hung

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Steven Hung

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