Apple and Google team up on virus ‘tracing’ smartphone tech

Apple and Google said they would be able to release the smartphone tool in several months. Credit...Ben Sklar for The New York Times (Photo Source: The New York Times)

Google and Apple unveiled a joint initiative Friday to use smartphones to trace coronavirus contacts to battle the pandemic.

The move brings together the largest mobile operating systems in an effort to use smartphone technology to track and potentially contain the global pandemic.

Smartphones powered by Apple software and Google-backed Android operating system would be able to exchange information wire Bluetooth technology with a joint “opt in system.”

The tech giants will collaborate on a “contact tracing” system which can identify people in contact with an infected person.

“All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems,” the companies said in a joint statement.