Christina Farr at CNBC has a good post that details the back story of how Apple and Google came together to implement an interoperable system and a set of APIs and SDKs to allow third parties to build exposure alerting apps on their mobile operating systems.
Like many in tech, I have been interested in exposure alerting (which we used to call digital contact tracing) since this pandemic started spreading around the world. I have always believed that these little computers we carry around with us can help solve many challenging problems and this sure feels like one of them.
But I was concerned about the need for interoperability, privacy, and security. I told everyone who I talked to about this problem in February and March that I felt like Apple and Google had to implement something in their mobile operating systems for this to work. And I was deeply concerned that would not/could not happen.
But it did. And when I heard the news, I was so pleased. Difficult times can make for interesting bedfellows.
This tweet cited in Christina’s story is great:
Apple and Google’s APIs are coming on May 1st and I hope to install an exposure alerting app that runs on them on my phone as soon after that as I can. I hope all of you join me in doing that.