A new COVID-19 tracker has suddenly appeared on your smartphone

Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

A COVID-19 tool has suddenly materialised on Androids and iPhones – self-installing onto smartphones as part of the most recent software updates.

The app is switched off by default, but when turned on it can use Bluetooth to measure the distance between two separate handsets.

The tool does not trace individuals itself, but will help developers build apps that warn users about their proximity to infected individuals.

Anna Shvets / Pexels

iPhone users can find the COVID-19 Exposure Logging tool by going into ‘Privacy’ under the settings menu. On Android phones, software details appear under the Google (services and preferences) section in settings.

The new COVID-19 tool is part of a collaboration between Apple and Google.

Britain is now moving towards a model supported by these tech giants, after its NHS-developed app experienced issues during a rollout on the Isle of Wight.

Whilst the government’s u-turn was criticised by many, privacy experts have expressed relief at the decision – considering the move to a decentralised model as being much safer.


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