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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2020
Apple and Google are advancing their Exposure Notification program, and both are delivering pre-release versions of code to developers inside public health authorities globally on Wednesday.




The coronavirus Exposure Notification API is available inside the beta of Xcode 11.5, just made available. The release is made in parallel with the beta of iOS 13.5, which was going to be the the third beta of iOS 13.4.5 prior to the API change. The new iOS beta will be required to test Exposure Notification software developed by the new Xcode beta.

Google has delivered the functionality to Android developers in a Google Play update, and is seeding the SDK privately to select developers.

Both Google and Apple say that they will release more information, including code examples, to assist developers on Friday. The pair also note that they will add additional authorized developers across the testing period.

Also released on Wednesday was an iPadOS 13.5 beta. It isn't yet clear if the Exposure Notification hooks are in that as well.

Why Google and Apple have teamed up to develop Exposure Notification

One method to help curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is contact tracing -- now also called exposure notification -- that informs users if they may have been exposed to an infected person. Apple and Google teamed up on April 10 to develop a joint standard to accelerate adoption and interoperability.

The technology utilizes Bluetooth and broadcast power to measure the distance of an uninfected user to somebody who has been diagnosed as exposed. The system updates data "at least once per day" by downloading a list of temporary tracing keys that have been confirmed to be associated with users positive for COVID-19. This data comes from what Apple calls the "relevant public health authority."

The comparison of the downloaded data to the contacts is done on-device. If there is a match between the beacons, the user will be notified, and advised on steps to take.

Despite both companies stressing that privacy would be protected, the plan raised concerns in the US and also EU authorities.

On April 24, Google and Apple made a joint announcement about changes they have made, plus further detailing and amplifying technical aspects of the protocol.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member
    Of course for these apps to be effective, over 80% of the population need to be using them.

    Can’t see that happening in the good ol’ USA where people are boycotting even Lockdowns 🤨
    chasm
  • Reply 2 of 5
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,892member
    hentaiboy said:
    Of course for these apps to be effective, over 80% of the population need to be using them.

    Can’t see that happening in the good ol’ USA where people are boycotting even Lockdowns ߤ覬t;/div>
    IMHO 80% seems too high of a minimum requirement. It would be helpful if Apple and Google, who know all the details about how it works, would publish some theoretical statistics.

    Really tragic about Pence visiting covid patients without a mask.  The people in charge of the federal government simply don't get it, that it would be possible to keep the economy open for the most part if people "just" behaved smarter... and consistently so. Look at all of the sacrifice we've made and trillions of $$ spent so far, and how easily now it could be for naught.

    O.T.: Trump's cronies in the health insurance business who will surely contribute big to his reelection are racking up the profits while non-emergent procedures are on hold, while hospitals and hospital employees are paying with their livelihoods and lives.
    edited April 2020 darkvaderStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 5
    hentaiboy said:
    Of course for these apps to be effective, over 80% of the population need to be using them.

    Can’t see that happening in the good ol’ USA where people are boycotting even Lockdowns 🤨
    The statement about % use not correct. The effectiveness is on an s-curve and you need to be above about 40% for it to really pay off. There's little improvement going over 80% use in the population. The steepest part of the curve and the biggest payoffs are in that 40-80% range, but below or above that, you are on the other side of the "knee" and the delta of impact is much more marginal.

    Totally agree that a chunk of Americans seem to not comprehend that sometimes we are all in this together, and that rugged individualism and an AR-15 won't protect you or anyone else from a virus. You can argue if its appropriate for restrictions to be guidelines (that people follow out of free will wanting to protect their fellow citizens) or enforced (because the law tells you to) , but the constitution doesn't protect you from doing things that endanger others like shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre either.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    looplessloopless Posts: 212member
    Now maybe someone can talk some sense into the Australia government that is promoting an app originally developed in Singapore ( which is no bastion of democracy) and which uses a centralized tracking system. They say don't worry about privacy as the data is only available to a "health care official" - whatever that means.

    And of course in any event  the app is basically useless on an iPhone as it won't be able to function in the background. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    loopless said:
    Now maybe someone can talk some sense into the Australia government that is promoting an app originally developed in Singapore ( which is no bastion of democracy) and which uses a centralized tracking system. They say don't worry about privacy as the data is only available to a "health care official" - whatever that means.

    And of course in any event  the app is basically useless on an iPhone as it won't be able to function in the background. 
    I want to correct a misunderstanding of how the Singaporean and Australian Apps work. Contact Data always stays on the phone until you are diagnosed with Covid 19. You are then prompted to permit the uploading of the data on your device to the central location so that those who have been in contact can also be informed they have been in close contact with person who has contracted Covid 19. There are limitations with the implementation on iOS as you've pointed out, but a huge central database of interaction is NOT one of them.
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