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Apple and Google Update: way free for Corona tracking app

  • Apple and Google announced on Wednesday evening that the necessary interfaces for the Corona app are now available in their systems.
  • So far, 22 countries have been allowed to use it.
  • The development of the German app by SAP and Telekom will still take a few weeks.

The smartphone interfaces from Google and Apple for Corona warning apps are officially available. So far, access to 22 countries has been promised, as the companies announced on Wednesday. More are likely to be added in the coming weeks. Only one app per country should be able to access the interfaces to prevent a patchwork of different applications.

The Corona apps are designed to help track infections when the restrictions on going out are relaxed. They are supposed to record which smartphones have come close to each other – and warn users if it turns out that they are next to infected people.

The two relevant smartphone systems come from Google and Apple – Android and the iOS software for the iPhone. They are the only ones able to create the basis for an efficient integration of the Corona apps into the phones. At the same time, the companies emphasize that the apps can only be one of the measures to curb the spread of viruses and to track contacts.

The interfaces from Apple and Google are published with updates for the operating systems of the smartphones. In Germany, the app that is to access the interfaces is developed by Deutsche Telekom and the software group SAP. It will still take a few weeks before it is ready for use.

In the Apple and Google concept, the distance between smartphones should be measured using the Bluetooth signal strength. At the same time, the smartphones are supposed to exchange Bluetooth crypto keys, which change every ten to 20 minutes. This should enable you to understand encounters without an individual being traceable. According to Apple and Google, the apps will only shorten battery life slightly.

When a user reports their confirmed infection in the app, people who have received their key in the past few days are notified. This comparison takes place exclusively on individual smartphones and not centrally on a server. To do this, all keys from infected people from the region are regularly loaded onto the phones.

The notification of the risk of infection should only be given if the telephones spent more than five minutes at short intervals. This is intended to filter out situations in which, for example, someone walks past a car in which an infected person is sitting. The local health authorities decide from which proximity and length of stay they assume an infection risk.

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