This story was originally published and last updated .
If you're looking for your country's or state's official COVID Exposure Notification System app, you might not be able to find it thanks to the screwy way Google is handling the search function for COVID related apps on the Play Store. Despite the fact many apps are testing Google's ENS API, the tag is missing from a few listings, and even worse there are some apps you simply can't even search for on the Play Store. Since it would appear every country and US state is creating its own stand-alone app, some areas are lagging behind others, so it's tough to know if your location even has an app available.
California, Oregon, and Washington have announced that they are participating in tests of Apple and Google's Exposure Notifications Express program. ENE integrates a set of contact-logging Bluetooth APIs that were deployed in public health apps earlier this year into a streamlined distribution flow for all Android and iOS phones while minimizing time and monetary costs for the states.
The COVID-19 pandemic doesn't seem like it'll be going away any time soon. In order to help slow the spread of the virus and alert those who come into contact with infected individuals, Google and Apple worked together to develop a contact tracing system system. But the API doesn't do much good unless apps take advantage of it. Now it looks like Virginia has become the first US state do so with its new app COVIDWISE.
Apple and Google don't often collaborate, but they came together to create an API for a Bluetooth-based coronavirus exposure notification system called the Exposure Notifications System (ENS). Back when this initiative was first announced, we didn't know exactly how many US states would be on board, but Google has announced that 20 states are now exploring this technology.