Apple releases first beta of COVID-19 Exposure Notification API for developers

Apple and Google are advancing their exposure notification programs, and the two are delivering preliminary code releases to developers around the world on Wednesday.

The coronavirus exposure notification API is available in the beta version of Xcode 11.5, which has just been made available. The release is made in parallel with the beta of iOS 13.5, which was going to be the third beta of iOS 13.4.5 before the API change. The new beta version of iOS will be required to test the exposure notification software developed by the new beta version of Xcode.

Google has provided functionality to Android developers in a Google Play update, and is separating from the SDK privately to select developers.

Google and Apple say they will release more informationon, including sample code, to help developers on Friday. The pair also notes that they will be adding other licensed developers during the test period.

Also on Wednesday, a beta version of the iPadOS 13.5. It is not yet clear whether the exposure notification brackets are also included.

Why Google and Apple partnered to develop exposure notification

One method to help curb MS of the coronavirus pandemic is contact tracing – now also known as exposure notification – which notifies users if they may have been exposed to an infected person. Apple and Google partnered on April 10 to develop a common standard to accelerate adoption and interoperability.

Technology uses Bluetooth and broadcast power to measure the distance from an uninfected user to someone who has been diagnosed with exposure. The system updates the data “at least once a day” by uploading a list of temporary tracking keys that have been confirmed to be associated with users who are positive for COVID-19. This data comes from what Apple calls “the competent public health authority”.

The comparison of the downloaded data with the contacts is done on the device. In case of correspondence between the tags, the user will be informed and informed of the steps to follow.

Although the two companies stressed that privacy would be protected, the plan has raised concerns in the United States and also in EU authorities.

On April 24, Google and Apple made a joint announcement about the changes they have made, as well as more details and amplification of the technical aspects of the protocol.

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