Google has been placing COVID-19 reminders, warnings, and information in many of its services for some time now. You can't use a Google service without being reminded to wear a mask, or of where to go for screening. It's even added various tips to Maps, including where to get takeout during the pandemic. With a possible new overlay feature, it looks like we might soon be able to add Google Maps to our list of COVID tracing apps.
Back in June, EU members agreed that their coronavirus tracing apps would need to be interoperable to make it easier to travel during the summer, hoping that this would help to trace contacts across borders to prevent a second wave. While that timeline hasn't quite worked out (summer holidays are over in most countries), the European Commission today has announced that it's finally setting up a standardized interoperability gateway for tracing apps.
The U.K. wanted to make an app to trace coronavirus infections and had been testing on out on the Isle of Wight this spring. But going on its own, the government admitted that it would take way too long to publish and opted instead to adopt tracking APIs created jointly by Apple and Google. Now, the rewound NHS COVID-19 app is out for trials.
We've extensively reported on OEMs that needlessly kill useful background processes to save battery life, creating problems like missed notifications and alarms, aborted sleep tracking, broken upload schedules, and more. While all of these issues are annoying, they're not exactly life-threatening. However, as soon as we're talking about coronavirus tracing apps, missed exposure notifications could put you or others at risk, and it looks like that happened to the German COVID-19 tracking app, which hasn't been able to alert some people due to background restrictions.