Google Will Provide The Coronavirus Tracking Updates To Android Users Directly Via Google Play

  • Google sheds some more light on how it will roll out the coronavirus tracking updates to Android users by using the infrastructure of its Google Play Services.
  • Leveraging Google Play services is the only stable way to roll out these updates to Android users timely and this update system will be used for initial API and then the OS-level update of the coronavirus tracking technology.

Google has been working in partnership with Apple to create a technology that will trace the spread of the coronavirus. Google has now confirmed that it will use Google Play Services to roll out these forthcoming coronavirus tracking updates to Android devices. The company will assure that a higher number of Android devices get these COVID-19 contact tracing tech and will make efforts to make them available for Android phones using the Android (6.0) Marshmallow or higher versions.

There was a question in the minds of people that how Google will provide these COVID-19 tracking updates to Android phones until today and was crucial for the company to answer. Google is using Google Play Services infrastructure for updating the Android devices with the new technology because it is the only stable and reliable system to do so in a convenient way. There is another way ‘full operating system updates’ but this way has found to be charged with lag often from both the shippers and the producers.

Google states that the company will use the said update arrangements for both the phases of this new contract tracking technology update rollouts for Android devices. The new technology uses Bluetooth signals to operate and the primary API phase is will be rolled out in May. In the next phase, an OS-level update of this technology will be rolled out which will be launched in the upcoming months according to the companies who partnered for this project-Google and Apple.

There are a lot of Android phones that do not run Google Play services on their devices. For instance, all of the Android phones used in China do not benefit from Google Play Services. The US imposed restrictions on the companies regarding business with China and after that, Huawei phones do not feature the Google Play Services. The US does not allow Google to provide software to Huawei which implies that this new system will not be applied to Huawei operating system just as Huawei cannot use Google Chrome and Gmail services.

The company plans to provide an infrastructure for the companies that do not benefit from the Google Play services and these companies will be able to clone a safe and anonymous COVID-19 tracing infrastructure developed by Google and Apple. It will then depend on the Chinese governments or Chinese smartphone manufacturers to choose if they want to adopt this technology or not.


This strategy is used by Google for ‘Project Mainline’ structure of updates rolled out for the latest versions of Android in the last year and its updates are exceptionally open-sourced. The company refused to state whether it will be the same with this latest technology case. But the company said that it will provide code audits to those companies wanting to follow a duplicate system of this technology.



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