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Apple Map Users Can Now See Covid-19 Testing Sites

Eseandre Mordi



With the increasing spread of the Coronavirus, governments and companies across many nations are not relenting in their efforts to flatten the curve. Very recently, in a report that was released by TechCrunch, Apple Maps will now show to its users Covid-19 Testing Sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. With this development, when users search terms relating to ‘coronavirus test’, testing sites around will be marked on the map. It also follows that when users attempt to search ‘Covid-19’ in the search bar, ‘Covid-19 Testing’ will pop up as a suggestion.

The information card used by Apple to provide these Testing Sites include the distance of the site, address of the testing site, and their direct phone numbers. Apple also provides a warning to users that Covid-19 testing may require that a testing appointment is scheduled with a doctor at the testing center.

How Did Apple Make This Possible?

To include Covid-19 Testing sites to its maps, Apple created a portal for healthcare providers. This portal requires these providers to submit their information and that of their testing sites. This web portal was launched by Apple last week and has since then collated a wide range of information from many health care providers across 50 states and Puerto Rico. Information submitted by healthcare providers on the web portal is carefully screened. If this information is found to be valid, the testing center is shown on Apple Maps.

Android users in major cities of the US have been able to see Covid-19 Testing Centers on Google Maps since April 17th. With Apple Maps just joining this trend, it has provided more testing sites through direct search than Google Maps does. Apple Maps show more direct sites while Google Maps provide users with generic testing sites. Take for example a user searching for a test Centre in Arizona making use of Apple Maps. While such user will find a testing site displayed on the map, Google Map doesn’t show any site there instead, it shows other testing sites in the state.

However, in a statement made to The Verge by Google, it claims to be working on providing direct testing information to Google Maps alongside that of search results already made available. Apple has also upgraded its mobility trending sites to include more cities some of which includes San Diego, Las Vegas, and New Orleans among others.

There is also a reported collaboration between Apple and Google to develop a comprehensive coronavirus tracking system. This tracking system will be used to monitor recent developments with regards to testing, contact tracing, and management of the coronavirus. Both companies are working to have this system integrated into iOS and Android devices.

As these tech companies continue to work towards coming up with ways to manage the spread of the coronavirus, there seems to be a golden lining in the sky. More and more features will be introduced to Apple Maps in the coming days to increase the number of Covid-19 Testing Centers listed. However, users need to make use of these features to access testing sites around them immediately any symptom is detected.

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