Coronavirus is changing the world, and it seems the way mobile companies operate.
You won’t find Apple devices running Android out of the box, nor will you find Android devices able to run iOS, but at least Apple and Google are coming together for a good cause: tracking and beating the COVID-19 coronavirus.
With countries and scientific organisations all coming together to beat the major viral infection that is COVID-19, you might not expect the same from technology giants, and yet that’s happening, too.
We’re all self-isolating and that means minimal to no contact with people outside of your own living environment, but to assist wth the tracking of the infection rate, Apple and Google are working together on operating system changes and programming interfaces to help with the process.
It’s an approach that should provide some level of platform congruity, at least as far as tracking the coronavirus is concerned, working across software and hardware to a degree.
In the software world, Apple and Google are working on programming layers that will allow Android and iOS apps to work together for apps released from public health authorities, potentially assisting in the ability for the general public to check in with health conditions.
Hardware is being used with Bluetooth, with a tracking solution set to arrive in the coming months that would allow organisations to track using Bluetooth, and could potentially provide government health organisations with a more direct way to talk to affected citizens. Apple has said this would be an “opt in” approach (Apple’s words are “if they choose to opt in”), with the focus of this whole collaboration about slowing the spread of COVID-10 and to “accelerate the return of everyday life”.
However the collaboration doesn’t mean that iOS will work on Android, nor will Android work on an iPhone or iPad. Rather, this is about two of the giants of mobiles coming together to help health organisations disconnect COVID-19 from society using the tools we all have in our hands.