Apple, Google, and Amazon Launch New Coronavirus Apps, Websites, and Tools
In the past few weeks, Apple, Google, and Amazon have all created tools to help you stay informed about COVID-19 (also known as the novel coronavirus). Apple recently launched a new app and website that feature a coronavirus screening test. While Amazon has added new features for Alexa devices and made more content free for Fire TV devices. And Google has also launched a new website and additional features for finding up-to-date information when you search for topics related to the coronavirus.
Apple’s New Coronavirus Screening Test App
Apple recently announced it launched an app and a website designed “to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19.”
The app and website are both centered around a new coronavirus screening tool, which asks you a series of questions to determine if you should seek care for COVID-19 symptoms.
The screening test has questions about your age, symptoms and conditions, recent travel and exposure, and more. After completing the screening process, you will be given recommendations on what you should do next, based on CDC recommendations. This information includes how to monitor your symptoms, if you should get tested, and when you should contact a medical provider.
You can also find lots of helpful coronavirus information on the app and website, including what you can do to protect yourself and your family, what you should look for in test results, and the latest news from trusted sources. You won’t be required to provide any personal details to access any of the tools and information on the app or website.
To create this screening test, Apple partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, Apple states that the screening tool “does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.”
If you’re looking for ways to reach out to a healthcare provider, you can also check out Apple’s list of recommended telehealth apps here. These are apps that let you talk to a doctor over text, phone, or video chat. However, while all of these apps are free to download, many providers will still charge a fee for their services.
Amazon’s New Alexa Commands & Free Content on Fire TV
Apple isn’t the only tech company that introduced new tools to help you combat the coronavirus. Amazon also announced a new screening tool that you can quickly access from any Alexa-enabled device.
Now you can ask your Echo smart speaker, “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?” Your device will then ask you a few questions about your symptoms, travel history, and possible exposure. Depending on your answers, Alexa will then provide you with recommendations from the CDC on what you should do next.
You can also ask Alexa to sing a song for 20 seconds, which is meant to help you know if you’re washing your hands for long enough.
Amazon also added a new command for Echo Show and Fire TV devices. Now, when you say, “Alexa, play the CDC video,” you can see the latest CDC public service announcement videos. You can also find public service announcement videos from the CDC on the homepage of your Fire TV devices now.
And, to help the one-third of Americans who are currently quarantined or self-isolating at home, Amazon has put together a list of free apps, extended trials, and other free content you can now find on Fire TV and Fire Tablet devices. This list will be updated regularly, but, at the moment, you can get unlocked content from CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, and other news apps.
Google’s New Coronavirus Website & Enhanced Search Information
Earlier this month, Google also announced it launched a website dedicated to helping you find “state-based information, safety and prevention tips, search trends related to COVID-19, and further resources for individuals, educators and businesses.”
Google’s new coronavirus website features health information and alerts from sources like the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). There are also safety and prevention tips with videos from leading experts, and a map that shows the number of coronavirus cases by country in real-time. Google also provides up-to-date travel advisories, training resources for remote working and learning, and more.
In addition to the new site, Google also updated its search engine. Now, when you search for topics related to the novel coronavirus, you will see enhanced information cards with information about the disease, symptoms, prevention, treatments, and statistics.