Google has deleted the COVID-19 exposure notification settings from Android

Google has deleted the COVID-19 exposure notification settings from Android

Google has deleted the COVID-19 exposure notification settings from Android. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Exposure Notifications” were added to Android and iOS to notify users if they had been exposed to the virus. However, such a feature is now becoming obsolete.

Google has deleted the COVID-19 exposure notification settings from Android

Google and Apple collaborated in 2020 to quickly put out COVID-19 exposure notifications that were interoperable between Android and iOS. Phones would be able to follow each other using Bluetooth, and users who tested positive for COVID-19 could use an app to anonymously notify everyone they had been around in public. The feature will be available for Android in May 2020.

In principle, it was a brilliant idea, but it was treated with harsh scepticism by the general public (as were many COVID-19 proposals), and it was further hampered by the extraordinarily delayed state-by-state distribution of the apps required to really make the network usable.

COVID-19 exposure notification settings have now been removed from Android by Google.

The modification was initially noticed in beta in mid-October, but now been confirmed that it has been deleted in the stable track, which means it should no longer be visible to almost all Android users. The modification is included in the most recent Google Play Services update, however, it first appeared in Play Services 23.42 (the current version is 23.43). Previously, the COVID-19 options could be found under options > Google, but they have since vanished, as shown below.

The timing is appropriate – if anything, it’s a touch late – because the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency has ended (but the sickness continues), and most US states have presumably shut down operations for exposure reporting anyhow.

Apple informed iPhone customers in May that they could off exposure notifications and remove data.

This innovation and its rollout were outstanding from a technical sense, especially given the speed with which it was developed. However, the delayed and perplexing distribution resulted in poor acceptance; personally, I never received a single exposure notification over the whole pandemic.

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