Obviously, it is the one major topic of conversation all over the world. And the U.S. is now home to the largest number of coronavirus cases in the world with Italy second and China third. Apple has already donated 10 million face masks to surgical workers and today it has released a free COVID-19 app. Available for free from the App Store, the Apple COVID-19 app includes a screening tool from the CDC that does not share your responses with Apple. It can be used to screen yourself somebody else you know. The screening test will tell you whether you need to self isolate, see a doctor or get tested.
Apple adds a new COVID-19 app to the App Store
There is also a section that goes through the preventative measures that you should take such as scrubbing your hands for twenty seconds or longer. A simple rule of thumb is to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice to yourself or out loud. If there is no soap and water available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Other suggestions include social distancing; stay 6-feet away from others if you must be out and about. Also, avoid large groups and physical contact; stay home if you're sick. You might want to monitor your symptoms for 14 days and always clean and disinfect surfaces where the coronavirus can live. Another section of the app links to updates from Apple News. The latter now has a dedicated section of stories related to COVID-19.
Additionally, iPhone users landing at certain international airports in the states will automatically receive a notification on their handset screen. The notification will remind these travelers to follow current CDC guidelines suggesting that they stay home and monitor their health.
Apple, of course, isn't the only tech company trying to do its part. Google is donating $800 million in cash to businesses and offering $340 million in free ads in an effort to revive the flat-lining economy. It also has a website at google.com/coronavirus that delivers information about the disease with much of the same information found in Apple's COVID-19 app. Or if you go to the Google Search app and type in coronavirus, the app will return a results page featuring a special heading with five tabs (Overview, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatments, and Statistics) with information from trusted organizations near the bottom of the page. Sandwiched in between these two sections is a list of the latest coronavirus stories from major news organizations.
As Google has previously mentioned, its main goal is to prevent the spread of misinformation while publishing tips from reliable health organizations. We've seen lives lost when people tried a cure for coronavirus that was passed along by the media although it had yet to be thoroughly tested for this purpose. Still, there is some hope. In China, where the coronavirus first attracted global attention, Apple has reopened all 42 App Stores and assembly lines inside factories owned by Foxconn and Wistron are gearing up to start production of the new 2020 5G iPhone models. The head of Huawei's consumer group, Richard Yu, says that China is reopening for business. The manufacturer is testing whether consumers in the country are ready both financially and mentally prepared to return to normal. Yesterday, it unveiled its flagship P40 line with the top model, the P40 Pro+ priced at 1,399 EUR (equivalent to $1,500 USD). Interest in this model, which won't be launched until June, will give us an idea about the depth of any financial damage to the world's largest smartphone market caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
China's comeback might be used as a model to determine when we might expect new coronavirus cases to slow down in some of the world's hotspots. For now, if you are concerned about catching the disease, how to lower the odds of getting it, and want to get a quick and dirty screening, iOS users can download the new Apple COVID-19 app from the App Store, ask Siri "Do I have coronavirus?" or click on this website.