• Chethan Machaknur

Apple launches COVID-19 ‘Exposure Notification Express’ with iOS 13.7 — Android to follow later this

Apple  and Google  are continuing to make good on their planned roll-out of exposure notification technology for helping with COVID-19 contact-tracing efforts. The two partners are introducing new tools that make it much easier for public health authorities to implement digital exposure notification, without the need for developing and maintaining their own individual apps.

Apple makes this possible via the iOS 13.7 system update, while Google is implementing it with an automatically generated application on Android 6.0, upcoming later this month, a workaround required because of the very different method through which it manages system services and OS updates.

This change in the way the technology works means that users won’t have to actually download and install a dedicated app created by the public health authority (PHA) in their jurisdiction to participate. Instead, users will receive a notification that provides information supplied by their local health authority about the exposure notification system and what it does, from which users can choose to opt-in.

On iOS, that’ll mean installing a provisioning profile, while on Android,  it’ll result in an auto-generated app for your local PHA, which is installed via the Google Play store. Apple and Google clarified that Exposure Notification Express co-exists with, rather than replacing, existing dedicated PHA apps.

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