Apple, Google & Amazon Block Unofficial Coronavirus Apps

According to a new report from CNBC, both Apple and Google have started blocking applications relating to COVID-19 that are not from recognized entities. The tech giants are rejecting apps from developers and are directing users to the WHO website. Most of the applications are designed to display statistics regarding the virus outbreak and the countries labelled as a pandemic.

On Sunday, Apple posted a statement on its developer website saying it would accept coronavirus-related apps only from “recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions.” Apple wants to ensure that all data sources are reputable and correct.

Apple is urging developers to mark their submissions as part of a “Time-Sensitive Event” to expedite the review. This will help in getting the applications approved quickly.

According to Apple:

Communities around the world are depending on apps to be credible news sources – helping users understand the latest health innovations, find out where they can get help if needed or provide assistance to their neighbors. Now more than ever, that commitment takes on special significance as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google and Amazon are taking a similar approach to the situation. Amazon is blocking all coronavirus applications from unofficial sources while Google is blocking all the searches related to the virus and is pointing people towards WHO’s website and trusted applications.