Last month we wrote about a collaboration between Apple and Google on a COVID-19-related tracing tool. At the time little was known about the project, and the scrutiny surrounding it focused on what kind of data would be captured, who would have access to it and what would happen to it once the COVID-19 pandemic ended.
Some aspects of those questions still remain unknown, but now we at least have a better idea of what the interface for the tracing tool will look like once downloaded and activated onto your smartphone.
Given that Apple and Google deal with different mobile ecosystems, there will be an iOS and Android iteration to the tracing tool, with a few superficial differences between the two. The Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) proximity technology that the tool hinges off of, however, will be the same on both iterations.
It should also be noted that the images shared by Apple and Google are not the finished product, and could look different to the fully fledged ones that port over to smartphones in the coming months.
The interface examples are purely designed for the use of developers, with APIs currently being shared with the necessary parties. Added to this is the sharing of reference code, with an Xcode toolkit for iOS and an SDK for Android.
As such, we have a better idea of the opt-in functionality of this tracing tool, which would then allow it to start capturing proximity data. We also get to see how notifications would work.
While we now have screenshot samples to reference, there is still no mention of which official healthcare authorities Apple and Google will be working with on this project, so it still remains to be seen who will have access to said data.
That said, both firms have pledged to discontinue the system once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. It will therefore be important for consumers and regulatory bodies alike to keep Apple and Google to its word on that front.TechCrunch]