To help COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, Apple has released iOS 13.7. The new iOS update supports a new notification system for tracking COVID-19. With the update, US states won’t have to build a single app for contact tracing. They can use the iPhone to notify people who got exposed to positive cases.
iOS 13.7 for COVID-19 Contact Tracing
The Verge reports that both Google and Apple had already developed the new contact tracing software. In April, the two companies had revealed the software, but they did not announce its release date.
— The Verge (@verge) September 1, 2020
According to the report, the tracking system will inform a person when they may have interacted with a sick person. This person would later get a COVID-19 diagnosis. Apple had already begun support for a tracking system in iOS 13.5. However, at the time, states still needed to make an app to use the system.
With the new update, states can just send relevant data to Google and Apple, and the software will do the tracking.
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps
Currently, there are six tracing apps, and they would still work with the new update. The software also enables states to trace cases across state lines. Earlier this month, the state of Virginia released the official app supporting Apple’s notification system. The University of Alabama at Birmingham tested out a contact tracing app last month, too.
Statement from Apple and Google
The two companies said they wanted to make health experts’ contact tracing efforts easier. With their software, health experts don’t need to develop a separate app just for tracing.
Apple users can download iOS 13.7 now.