The NHS COVID-19 track and trace app has launched on the App Store in the UK, taking advantage of Apple and Google’s Exposure Notifications API.
Those with an iPhone can now head to the App Store and download the application for free.
An Android alternative is also available on the Google Play Store, offering similar features.
The UK government previously shunned Apple and Google’s API earlier in the year over its frustration with their stance on privacy, but after severe backlash from citizens and the media, it was confirmed that a new app would be based on Apple and Google’s frameworks.
After months of delays, the application has finally arrived, despite other territories taking advantage of the technology for several months. Scotland has its own application, as does Northern Ireland, so the UK app will therefore only be used by English and Welsh citizens.
Apple’s Exposure Notifications API allows health bodies to send out alerts to users if they have been close to someone who has reported positive for COVID-19.
The new software is designed to be both privacy-focused and power-efficient, collecting anonymous data from other users who also have the iOS or Android app.
If a user is reported as having COVID-19, their anonymous identifier can be used to trace all those who came into close contact, and those people will be encouraged to either take a test or self-isolate for 14 days.
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