Canada releases its COVID contact tracing app using the Apple-Google API

The Canadian coronavirus contact tracing application using the Apple-Google API has been launched, showcasing the simplicity of the tool.

The Canadian app, called COVID Alert, is one of the first high-level uses of the API and is available to all iPhone users in Canada. You can download the app if you are not in Canada, but there is no benefit to tracking notifications due to the way the Canadian app tracks infections.

The onboarding process is simple and explains how the app works

When you launch the app for the first time, you are greeted with a series of screens explaining how the app works and the data collected. Basically the app will transmit bluetooth tokens between nearby devices also using the app, and if you are close to someone for long enough a log is created.

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they get a one-time use key from the doctor (in Canada). Once the diagnostic key is entered, everyone you have come in contact with for a few weeks will be alerted to your diagnosis.

Submit your one-time diagnostic key if you have COVID

Submit your one-time diagnostic key if you have COVID

The system protects users by not storing any credentials in the app. The only information required is this one-time code, which does not reveal your identity to users alerted to the positive diagnosis.

The only way the contact tracing system can be effective is for people to embrace it on a large scale. If you live in Canada and have an iOS or Android device, download the app to participate.

If you test the beta version of iOS 14, the app will not work. The contact tracing API only works on devices running the public version of iOS.

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