What you need to know
- A new report from CNBC details how Apple and Google worked together on contact tracing.
- The report shows how both companies started their own projects initially.
- It then goes on to show how the rivals came together.
A new report from CNBC has given a behind the scenes look at how a few employees took the idea and, within weeks, had brought together typically rival companies to work together on perhaps one of the most important joint endeavors they will ever participate in.
According to the report, the idea for a contact tracing solution from Apple came to the attention of Myoung Cha, an Apple executive who is in charge of the business side of the company's health team. She went to work with a small group of location services and privacy experts.
The project, codenamed "Bubble", had been given the green light internally by two key executives: Craig Federighi and Jeff Williams. Once approved, dozens of employees began working on the project.
At the same time, a group of employees at Google were working on the same idea. The project, called "Apollo", included experts on privacy and Bluetooth connectivity.
The partnership between Apple and Google was built between Apple's Cha and Google's Vice President of Android, Dake Burke. Once everything was in place, Tim Cook and Sundar Pachai met virtually to give the final approval and officially launch the project to the public.
The companies are expected to launch an API on May 1st that health agencies across the world can integrate into their contact tracing apps. At a later date, Apple and Google will build the contact tracing solution directly into iOS and Android. Both companies have promised that, once the pandemic is over, they will disable and remove the program from their respective operating systems.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.