Apple releases COVID-19 app, website based on CDC guidance

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2020
Apple has launched a new app, and a website, with resources to help people stay informed, and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19.

Apple's COVID-19 app
Apple's COVID-19 app


Apple's free COVID-19 app helps users assess risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms. Following answering the questionnaire, the app will provide the CDC's recommendations on the next steps to take. This includes whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider.

Users of the app, or visitors to the website will also receive answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including who is most at risk and how to recognize symptoms. In addition, they will learn the most up-to-date information from the CDC such as best practices for washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring symptoms related to the coronavirus.

To help you stay informed, understand symptoms and take proper steps to protect your health, Apple has created a COVID-19 website and a US app in partnership with the CDC. As always, the data is yours and your privacy is protected. Stay safe and healthy. https://t.co/qUEMYOzZUC

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook)


The new COVID-19 app, available on the App Store, and website were created in partnership with the CDC, the Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA, to make it easy for people across the US to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the country's healthcare system is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user's Apple ID, and users' individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.

Apple also notes that travelers landing at select international airports throughout the US started receiving notifications on their iPhone to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and monitor their health.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,638member
    Curiously, the website seems to be available in Canada but the app is not available in Canada. Does that make sense?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,897administrator
    Curiously, the website seems to be available in Canada but the app is not available in Canada. Does that make sense?
    Sure. The US app store and Canadian app stores are different entities.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,104member
    Websites are available to all, just like the CDC website. However, the app is only available in the US App Store because the information originates from the CDC, a US government agency. Note that the CDC has their own official app. It is also jointly produced by a US federal task force as well as FEMA, another US agency.

    Canada's equivalent agency should have a website and maybe an app. If they want to collaborate and do a special COVID-19 app, it's up to them. Apple is an American company.

    Sadly, the app is only available to those running iOS 13.1 or later. People running earlier iOS versions cannot use it.

    That is piss poor execution.

    Sorry Apple, you cannot extort me this way into installing iOS 13.
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 4 of 12
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,638member
    mpantone said:
    Websites are available to all, 
    No they aren't. Eg, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video sites, Crackle, CNNgo, ABC, ABCnews, HBO, HBO now, CBS, CBS News, NBC, National Geographic, TruTV, Fox, Fox News, Disney, PBS, PBS News, USA Network, Lifetime, Bravo TV, Vudu, Showtime, Comedy Central, Syfy, Oprah, Smithsonian, TBS, Spike, CNBC, and about 100 other major websites are unavailable in Canada. And this is just a short list. Many Canadians purchase VPN access to be able to access all US websites. I'm not sure why half the internet is blocked at the border; it's probably license agreements with media owners.
    caladanian
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 218member, administrator, moderator, editor
    mpantone said:

    Poorly executed.

    Sorry Apple, you cannot extort me this way into installing iOS 13.
    Anyone can access the website portal regardless of device or OS, and an overwhelming majority of iOS users are on iOS 13. Safe bet releasing it with iOS 13.1 as a limitation, they would know considering they are the only developer with the exact number of installs. 🙂 Don’t worry, you can stay on your earlier OS and still seek guidance.
    SolironnStrangeDaysBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,638member
    Curiously, the website seems to be available in Canada but the app is not available in Canada. Does that make sense?
    Sure. The US app store and Canadian app stores are different entities.
    Of course. I agree. But that doesn't explain why the information is blocked from non-US app stores when the same information is not blocked on the website.
    caladanian
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,897administrator
    Curiously, the website seems to be available in Canada but the app is not available in Canada. Does that make sense?
    Sure. The US app store and Canadian app stores are different entities.
    Of course. I agree. But that doesn't explain why the information is blocked from non-US app stores when the same information is not blocked on the website.
    I assume that the info source is the CDC and not the Public Health Agency of Canada is the major hangup.
    ronn
  • Reply 8 of 12
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,104member
    mpantone said:

    Poorly executed.

    Sorry Apple, you cannot extort me this way into installing iOS 13.
    Anyone can access the website portal regardless of device or OS, and an overwhelming majority of iOS users are on iOS 13. Safe bet releasing it with iOS 13.1 as a limitation, they would know considering they are the only developer with the exact number of installs. ߙ⠍ Don’t worry, you can stay on your earlier OS and still seek guidance.

    Gee, the CDC and WHO can write iOS apps that support iOS 12 and earlier. Red Cross? FEMA? My healthcare provider? TSA?

    Why can't Apple do the same with this app? After all, they still write other iOS apps that work with older versions of iOS. They just released an iOS 12 update for my iPod touch 6th generation. And they can't make this compatible with anything prior to iOS 13.1?

    I am willing to bet a buffalo nickel that there are more iOS developers on this planet who have written apps that support previous versions of iOS.

    Again, this is piss poor execution by Apple on the iOS app development side. They might end up eventually realizing this and rewriting the app to support older versions of iOS.

    This is about as dumb as Bank of America, United Airlines, Chase, Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Fidelity only releasing their iOS apps for users running iOS 13.1 or later. "Oh, just use the mobile website if you have an earlier version."

    Sorry, defending Apple's shortsightedness in this case is ludicrous.
    edited March 2020 avon b7Beats
  • Reply 9 of 12
    mpantone said:
    mpantone said:

    Poorly executed.

    Sorry Apple, you cannot extort me this way into installing iOS 13.
    Anyone can access the website portal regardless of device or OS, and an overwhelming majority of iOS users are on iOS 13. Safe bet releasing it with iOS 13.1 as a limitation, they would know considering they are the only developer with the exact number of installs. ߙ⠍ Don’t worry, you can stay on your earlier OS and still seek guidance.

    Gee, the CDC and WHO can write iOS apps that support iOS 12 and earlier. Red Cross? FEMA? My healthcare provider? TSA?

    Why can't Apple do the same with this app? After all, they still write other iOS apps that work with older versions of iOS. They just released an iOS 12 update for my iPod touch 6th generation. And they can't make this compatible with anything prior to iOS 13.1?

    I am willing to bet a buffalo nickel that there are more iOS developers on this planet who have written apps that support previous versions of iOS.

    Again, this is piss poor execution by Apple on the iOS app development side. They might end up eventually realizing this and rewriting the app to support older versions of iOS.

    This is about as dumb as Bank of America, United Airlines, Chase, Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Fidelity only releasing their iOS apps for users running iOS 13.1 or later. "Oh, just use the mobile website if you have an earlier version."

    Sorry, defending Apple's shortsightedness in this case is ludicrous.
    We’re you born cynical or did something happen to cause it? There I most certainly something ludicrous in the situation but it isn’t the limitations of the app. 
  • Reply 10 of 12
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,153member
    ...does this also make it easier to track the virus...? www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/28/its-middle-night-do-you-know-who-your-iphone-is-talking/
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 11 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,958member
    mpantone said:
    mpantone said:

    Poorly executed.

    Sorry Apple, you cannot extort me this way into installing iOS 13.
    Anyone can access the website portal regardless of device or OS, and an overwhelming majority of iOS users are on iOS 13. Safe bet releasing it with iOS 13.1 as a limitation, they would know considering they are the only developer with the exact number of installs. ߙ⠍ Don’t worry, you can stay on your earlier OS and still seek guidance.

    Gee, the CDC and WHO can write iOS apps that support iOS 12 and earlier. Red Cross? FEMA? My healthcare provider? TSA?

    Why can't Apple do the same with this app? After all, they still write other iOS apps that work with older versions of iOS. They just released an iOS 12 update for my iPod touch 6th generation. And they can't make this compatible with anything prior to iOS 13.1?

    I am willing to bet a buffalo nickel that there are more iOS developers on this planet who have written apps that support previous versions of iOS.

    Again, this is piss poor execution by Apple on the iOS app development side. They might end up eventually realizing this and rewriting the app to support older versions of iOS.

    This is about as dumb as Bank of America, United Airlines, Chase, Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Fidelity only releasing their iOS apps for users running iOS 13.1 or later. "Oh, just use the mobile website if you have an earlier version."

    Sorry, defending Apple's shortsightedness in this case is ludicrous.
    It’s really not a big deal — just got to the website for the exact same experience and data. Or not, and keep whining about it for reasons unknown. 
    dewme
  • Reply 12 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,415member
    mpantone said:
    Websites are available to all, 
    No they aren't. Eg, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video sites, Crackle, CNNgo, ABC, ABCnews, HBO, HBO now, CBS, CBS News, NBC, National Geographic, TruTV, Fox, Fox News, Disney, PBS, PBS News, USA Network, Lifetime, Bravo TV, Vudu, Showtime, Comedy Central, Syfy, Oprah, Smithsonian, TBS, Spike, CNBC, and about 100 other major websites are unavailable in Canada. And this is just a short list. Many Canadians purchase VPN access to be able to access all US websites. I'm not sure why half the internet is blocked at the border; it's probably license agreements with media owners.
    This isn't actually true. You can visit (and I have visited) all of these websites. They are not blocked in Canada in any way whatsoever. What is blocked on them is their copyrighted streaming content, either because it is only licensed for the US, or because the provider has simply chosen for that copyrighted content to only be available to the country it operates in. Sort of like how Americans can't get Crave, eh?

    Please stop spreading misinformation.
    Beats
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