COVID-19 Stories August 17

As part of Apple’s effort to fully reopen offices, the company will rely on testing employees for COVID-19 multiple times per week, Bloomberg reports. The decision to use COVID testing as a tool for in-person work environments runs in contrast to other tech companies including Google and Facebook.

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COVID-19 Stories August 8

To boost COVID-19 vaccination with young people, Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the city would give away AirPods, gift cards, or a $25,000 scholarship for those who receive their first shot.

As reported by the Hill, people over 12-17 years old who get vaccinated at Brookland MS, Sousa MS, or Johnson MS will receive an AirPods with their first shot and a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship, iPad, and headphones.

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COVID-19 Stories August 2

After England’s NHS app brought support to a COVID-19 passport last week, the Australian government is doing the same via Express Plus Medicare for its iPhone users. Starting now in Australia, anyone that received two shots of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines is eligible to add a digital certificate to the Apple Wallet.

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COVID-19 Stories July 29

The England COVID-19 passport is now more convenient for iOS users. According to a report by BBC, the NHS app has brought support to the Apple Wallet.

People in England can now store their COVID Pass in the NHS app, which, among other things, is used for COVID vaccination records. The government says this can be used at events and venues in England but not for international travel.

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COVID-19 Stories July 28

Following the breaking news that Google will require employees returning to its offices in October to get the COVID vaccine, Tim Cook has shared that the company is continuing to “monitor things daily” before deciding if that’s “the right answer or not.”

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COVID-19 Stories April 22

Apple has updated its Developer’s page to again waive the App Store requirement for paid online group services to use App Store in-app purchases for payments. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause businesses to pivot to digital services rather than in-person.

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COVID-19 Stories March 31

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that it’s going to launch a COVID passport for test results and vaccine certificates for the iPhone in mid-April, reports Reuters.

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COVID-19 Stories February 16

The vaccination against COVID-19 has started in several countries around the world, and we have already seen some apps that let users prove that they have taken the vaccine with just their iPhones. Now Apple is tightening the App Store rules to ensure that apps offering proof of vaccination are only submitted by health authorities.

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COVID-19 Stories February 9

Apple Watch study on early COVID-19 detection graduates to peer-reviewed status

Using the Apple Watch to detect signs of COVID-19 infections in users is more than just a hypothetical now.

COVID-19 Stories January 16

January 16, 2021: Updated with latest states including Hawaii and Wisconsin.

Apple and Google announced plans to build COVID-19 tracing into iPhone and Android operating systems on April 10, 2020. The move marked a major partnership between the top two mobile operating system competitors in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Platform updates to enable the COVID-19 contact tracing feature on iOS and Android were publicly released 40 days later on May 20, 2020.

So how do you participate in COVID-19 contact tracing efforts with your smartphone? In this story, 9to5Mac is tracking which U.S. states and territories are using Exposure Notifications API in iOS and Android apps.

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COVID-19 Stories January 11

Apple has released iOS 12.5.1 for older iPhones and iPads today, roughly one month after the release of iOS 12.5. The update includes bug fixes for the COVID-19 exposure notification feature.

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COVID-19 Stories December 28, 2020

As the COVID-19 vaccine has begun to be distributed in the United States, Los Angeles County has developed a new way to let its residents prove that they have taken the vaccine. Citizens can now add the COVID-19 vaccination proof in the Apple Wallet app and in Google Pay for Passes.

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COVID-19 Stories December 14, 2020

Apple has released iOS 12.5 for older iPhone models today, bringing support for COVID-19 exposure notifications. This is a major change as it expands contact tracing to iPhones that don’t support iOS 14, including devices like the massively popular iPhone 6 series.

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COVID-19 Stories December 10, 2020

After launching a pilot program for digital contact tracing last month, the state of California has made contract tracing available today, December 10. That’s about half a year after Apple/Google made the feature available on iPhone and Android. But better late than never as the support will allow the almost 40 million people living in California to stay safer amid the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Stories December 3, 2020

Facebook announced today more changes in its policy against fake news on its social networks. The company will now be more aggressive in punishing users who share misleading information on Facebook and also Instagram.

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COVID-19 Stories November 16, 2020

A new report from the BBC today says that many iPhone users are reporting issues with the United Kingdom National Health Service’s COVID-19 contact tracing application. The app, which uses the Apple and Google Exposure Notification API, is said to be suffering from a “blue screen glitch.”

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COVID-19 Stories October 22, 2020

Apple released a new app earlier this year in the United States to inform iOS users on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Apple COVID-19 app was updated today with improvements and new recommendations to prevent the virus.

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COVID-19 Stories October 7, 2020

Analyst firm MBLM shared its 2020 brand intimacy study this past spring with Apple taking first place in the tech industry. However, Amazon and Disney (considered retail brands) beat Apple in the overall rankings. Now MBLM has done another brand intimacy study in the US through the lens of the pandemic, and Apple has come out on top as an overwhelming majority of US teens have been found to be iPhone users.

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COVID-19 Stories September 9, 2020

Apple and Google have partnered to create a COVID-19 exposure notification technology that works on both iPhone and Android smartphones. This technology is slowly being adopted around the world, and today Scotland announced a new app based on the COVID-19 contact tracing API.

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COVID-19 Stories September 1, 2020

Apple has announced that it will release iOS 13.7 to the public today, including a major expansion of the COVID-19 Exposure Notification platform. Apple and Google have unveiled a new Exposure Notifications Express system that allows public health authorities to support COVID-19 contact tracing without developing and maintaining their own application.

Update: iOS 13.7 is now available. You can update via the Settings app on your iPhone. Apple has also released iPadOS 13.7 with bug fixes.

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COVID-19 Stories August 13, 2020

The Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google is slowly being adopted by public health agencies around the world. And now North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alabama have just announced that they’re launching new apps with Exposure Notifications to alert users and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Stories July 31, 2020

Apple and Google introduced a new COVID-19 Exposure Notification API in May this year, which allows public health authorities to offer apps that can alert users when they have been exposed to the virus. The API is now getting more improvements to allow more flexibility in how the data obtained by these apps is managed and more.

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COVID-19 Stories April 13, 2020

Last week Apple and Google announced a group effort to introduce a single contact-tracing system that works with both iOS and Android. The development is the latest in an ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

The concept is simple — at least as far as contact-tracing systems go. iPhones already use Bluetooth for all sorts of features like AirDrop and streaming music to AirPods. Starting in mid-May, Bluetooth will also be used as a tool to help detect exposure to COVID-19 before symptoms are even present.

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Earlier this month, four US senators formally questioned Apple in a letter over its COVID-19 screening app and website even though the company has been transparent about how it works and the privacy and security it’s built on. Now Apple has officially responded to the government request.

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