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Covid-19 tracing tool on smartphones is ‘not app’

A Covid-19 tracing software program tool has appeared within the settings of each Android telephones and iPhones as a part of an replace of their working programs.

The “exposure notification” tool is switched off by default, and is not a tracing app itself.

It permits an app to run within the background whereas nonetheless utilizing Bluetooth.

This lets the app measure the gap between two handsets – after which alert the cellphone proprietor if somebody close to them later checks optimistic for Covid-19.

In the UK there is presently no out there contact-tracing app.

The replace has induced some confusion, with individuals querying the brand new addition to their handsets on social media.

“This is not a new app but is an extra element added to the phones’ operating systems to enable approved developers to build apps that can potentially warn of proximity to infected individuals,” stated laptop scientist Prof Alan Woodward, of Surrey University.

“Only apps approved by Google and Apple will be included in their app stores where they try to make use of this facility.”

The instruments (Apple on the left, Android on the best) have appeared within the cellphone settings

On iPhones it is discovered within the settings app, through the privateness menu after which well being sub-section. On Android telephones it is within the Google (companies and preferences) part of the settings menu.

It doesn’t work with the favored Covid Symptom Study app, which has been downloaded greater than 3m occasions.

A staff of NHS builders had constructed a contact-tracing app and trialled it on the Isle of Wight however the UK authorities is now planning to include software program developed by Apple and Google.

This tool is a part of that collaboration between the tech giants.

It permits handsets to trade information and alert individuals if they’ve been close to somebody who is discovered to have coronavirus.

However that information is not saved anyplace centrally – which was what the UK initially needed to do.

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