Both the companies are working to design an API to overcome the main issues with contact tracing: Lack of Interoperability. This app will use Bluetooth Low Energy. Each smartphone with the app spots when another phone is nearby and each exchanges anonymous identifier beacons, which change often.
The data the phones exchange do not contain location information except when the identifier is needed again.
Example: For instance, if you spend 10 minutes in close contact with your friend or neighbor or your family member, the mobile phones having applications will exchange the information. If any of you later gets COVID-19 Positive - they will enter this information to Public Health Authority's App. Next time if your phone comes in closer contact with the same phone/person tested positive with COVID-19, the user receives an alert saying that they have come in closer contact with an infected person and would recommend him to self-isolate himself.
The second important aspect is having patient privacy. Google and Apple will have a whitelist that ensures the data isn't misused. Only Health Authorities will have access to the data.
It is even more amazing to know that every phone which uses iOS 13 is compatible to contact tracing feature. It means that every iPhone since iPhone 6s can have this characteristic. And Google will make it available for phones going back as far as Android 6, which we used to call Marshmallow.
Apple and Google's upcoming smartphone-based contact-tracing system will be unavailable on as many as 2bn mobile phones according to new estimates from industry researchers.
Some people still use old smartphones and they will be unable to use the system which could make them more susceptible to becoming infected.
Analyst at CSS Insight, Ben Wood explained to The Financial Times how those using older smartphones or feature phones will be unable to use the contact-tracing system that could arrive as early as next month, saying:
“The underlying technology limitation is around the fact that there are still some phones in use that won’t have the necessary Bluetooth or the latest operating system. If you are in a disadvantaged group and have an old device or a [basic] feature phone, you will miss out on the benefits that this app could potentially offer.”Here is how your phone will track coronavirus