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Apple releases sample user interface and code for COVID-19 Exposure Notification developers

Apple and Google continue to advance the exposure notification plans, with the release of more code and user interface resources to help developers produce apps.

Following the pre-release beta of their COVID-19 Exposure Notification API on April 29, Apple and Google have now released sample code to help developers. Alongside technical resources, the two companies have also published the requirements that all developers must adhere to in order for their apps to be distributed.

Sample user interface elements for the COVID-19 Exposure Monitoring system

"Today, Apple and Google are providing developers with new resources to help them make exposure notification apps, including user interfaces (UI) and sample code for both iOS and Android," the companies said in a joint statement. "Since Google and Apple will not be building the apps, these updates are a part of the companies' continued efforts to support developers building these apps on behalf of the health authorities."

The mandatory requirements for developers to follow in order to have their apps distributed in Apple's App Store and on Google Play, are chiefly concerned with protecting user privacy.

Requirements for developers when creating COVID-19 exposure notification apps

  • Apps must get user consent to be used
  • Apps must separately get consent to share a positive test result
  • They must collect the minimum amount of data necessary
  • Developers can only use that data for this COVID-19 response effort
  • Apps cannot access Location Services

Beyond these, the apps must be "created by or for a government public health authority and they can only be used for COVID-19 response efforts," say Apple and Google. Also, use of the Apple/Google API "will be restricted to one app per country to promote high user adoption and avoid fragmentation."

How Apple's exposure notification system works

Apple and Google do acknowledge that some governments have rejected their system. "If a country has opted for a regional or state approach, the companies are prepared to support those authorities," the companies said.

The two companies also say that updates will be issued to the API in the coming weeks.