Apple and Google have launched their application programming interfaces (APIs) for contact tracing apps. The APIs will be rolled out through publicly available software updates.

However, only public health authorities (PHAs) will be able to use the APIs to build contact tracing apps.

As per the companies, the public health agencies can incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. This technology is designed to make these apps work better. The API will enable the user to decide whether or not to opt-in to exposure notifications. Moreover, the system does not collect or use location from the device. Users diagnosed with COVID-19 are left to choose whether they want to report it in public heath app or not.

As per Apple and Google, 22 countries in five continents have requested and received access to the API so far and more are expected soon. The companies also said that the recently shipped API is the first phase of the exposure notification system and they aim to develop and improve the system by working closely with the PHAs who use the API.