Apple releases first Exposure Notification API with new iOS 13.5 beta
Apple has released the first version of its exposure notification API for COVID-19 contact tracing within today’s new iOS 13.5 and Xcode 11.5 beta releases.
iOS 13.5 adds the code required for the apps built using the exposure notification API, and Xcode 11.5 features a new version of the iOS SDK with the exposure notification API, allowing developers working on behalf of government agencies to begin developing apps that will alert users when they have been in contact with somebody who has been confirmed as having COVID-19.
Apple announced the new APIs at the beginning of the month, revealing it has partnered with Google to utilize Bluetooth technology on iOS and Android.
In the coming months, Apple and Google have pledged to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into iOS and Android, providing a more robust solution than APIs and allowing more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.
The Apple Post reported on Monday that the UK’s National Health Service has announced it won’t be using the new privacy-focused APIs, instead opting for its own centralised system to collect more data on users.
The Australian government have also decided not to use the new APIs in their COVIDSafe app, which over one million people had downloaded in the first evening of it being available.