Coronavirus Contact Tracing Apps: Which Countries Are Doing What

As countries emerge from lockdowns imposed to blunt the coronavirus pandemic, dozens have rolled out phone apps to track a person’s movements and who they come into contact with, giving officials a vital tool for limiting contagion risks.

The technology could help avert new surges in COVID-19 infections that might overwhelm hospitals battling an outbreak that has killed more than 350,000 people worldwide in just six months.

While many apps and related technologies are voluntary, other governments are enforcing their use, since health experts say at least 60 percent of a population needs to activate them for contact tracing to

Read more Read more

Facebook launches trio of app experiments, TikTok gets spammed, plus coronavirus impacts on app economy – TechCrunch

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this

Read more Read more

Google’s New Sodar Tool Helps Android Smartphone Users Maintain Social Distancing

Smartphone users have a new way to keep their distance — a tool that lets them know when people are getting closer than pandemic guidelines recommend.

The Google-developed Sodar tool available this week taps into Android smartphone cameras to put users in the centre of a white circle with a radius of about two meters, or 6.5 feet.

The perimeter, determined based on pandemic social distancing guidelines, is made using the same kind of augmented reality technology in smartphone games such as Pokemon Go.

Circles superimposed on surroundings move with users, keeping smartphones in the centre. Users get a

Read more Read more

SpaceX Launch: How to Watch Crew Dragon Demo-2 Launch Live, Timings, Astronauts, and More

After a delay, NASA and SpaceX are now set to try to launch astronauts to the the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday. It will be the first mission to launch astronauts from the American soil on an American rocket to the ISS since 2011. The Demo-2 mission, that is also being called Launch America, has been scheduled for 7:22pm GMT on Saturday, May 30 (12:52am IST on Sunday, May 31). The Demo-1 mission was the uncrewed test flight that launched successfully in March this year. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be taken to the ISS onboard

Read more Read more

Google makes sharing Plus Codes easier in a push to simplify addressing system globally – TechCrunch

Two years ago, Google open-sourced Plus Codes, a digital addressing system to help billions of people navigate to places that don’t have clear addresses. The company said today it is making it easier for anyone with an Android device to share its rendition of an address — a six-digit alphanumeric code.

Google Maps users on Android can now tap the blue dot that represents their current location to view and share their unique six-digit coordinate with friends. Anyone with the code can look it up on Google Maps or Google Search to get the precise location of the destination.

Read more Read more

Google Maps Ramps Up Support for Local Businesses

Google’s popular map service on Wednesday added more ways for people to engage with local businesses struggling to survive the economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic. The Google Maps enhancements were touted as part of an effort to help small shops and restaurants. They come a week after Facebook unveiled free tools for retailers to create online storefronts on the social network and Instagram.

Google searches for “how to help small businesses” rocketed to an all-time high in March, according to Google Maps senior vice president Jen Fitzpatrick.

“People across the world are looking for ways to continue supporting corner

Read more Read more