On Wednesday Apple seeded iOS and iPadOS 13.7, both bringing a massive change to the COVID19 exposure notification system.
Currently, users are required to have installed a COVID19 app issued by their respective government or healthy agency using the Apple and Google contact tracing API. Now, with the first beta of iOS 13.7, users will be able to the technology without the need for an app.
Despite the change, as correctly noted by @DimSartz on Twitter, governments will still have to support the exposure notification technology itself, however, they likely will. The costs and hassle of building an app are extreme, Apple doing the heavy-lifting will be a nice gift to governments, especially those suffering economically who may not be able to afford to develop their own app.
Initially, concerns around the technologies’ privacy and usability were in full swing. That concern delayed many apps in several countries, most notably the UK. Now, the drama has died down as more states begin to adopt the API, with some countries the following suit.
iOS 13.7 and iPadOS 13.7 beta 1 are available to download for those registered in Apple’s developer program either via the Apple Developer portal or as an OTA update on enrolled beta devices.