The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of slowing down. Most medical facilities are operating beyond their capacity as they try to accommodate and save the lives of those infected. Medical frontliners are leading the fight against the pandemic as they race to save as many lives as possible. As for most citizens, however, they are advised to stay at home to avoid the further spread of the disease.
However, that is not to say that citizens can’t do anything to stop the pandemic. One way for citizens to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is to donate to various organizations. There’s also another way: using apps that are crucial to assessing persons at risk and disseminating valuable information.
Here are some of those app:
A team of students from the Asian Institute of Management developed this app to assess whether a person is at risk from the disease. App users have to sign up and answer a survey that assesses them for their likeness to having COVID-19. The survey follows the latest surveillance guidelines set by the Philippines’ Department of Health and the World Health Organization.
The app will then determine a user’s health status and give advice on what steps to take next, including going on a self-quarantine or getting tested for the disease. Users can save the contact details of whom they’ve made contact with, as well as the places they’ve visited. This information is useful for frontliners doing contact tracing on a person under investigation.
Those who are skeptical about using the app due to privacy concerns can set aside their fears since the app conforms to RA 11332 (Mandatory Disclosure of Notifiable Diseases Act) and RA 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012).
WeTrace has been a lot of attention lately as a local alternative to apps that offer contact tracing. The app is the product of an IT expert based in Cebu. It uses geolocation for contact tracing and patient mapping.
To activate, the app needs an Internet connection. Once activated, it assigns a unique code to each device for personalization. It will then trace a user’s timeline and movements and notify other WeTrace users nearby. If a user gets infected, the app will automatically notify the authorities and other people who came into contact. Plus, there’s a reporting function built-in to the app itself.
Also, users can know if there are active cases in their community through its latest news function.
This app is created by the Philippine government through the collaboration of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). Like the other apps on this list, COVID Watch PH is a real-time patient monitoring and contact tracing app.
Aside from locating patients and providing instant updates, the app also provides a triage assessment. COVID-19 patients can also request for financial aid that shall cover any hospitalization bills.
RC143 is the official app of the Philippine Red Cross. The organization modified the app to better respond to the pandemic. The app uses machine learning along with the wireless and sensory data from a smartphone to trace back contacts with other persons and determine exposure to the disease. In case that the app diagnosed a user with a possible infection, a user can connect to Red Cross for medical assistance.
One neat feature of this app is that it can alert users if they have been to areas with a high risk of infection or a high number of active cases.
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As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says
Just a minor update
One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.
Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.
It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.
SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone
Google starts rolling out Material You apps
More coming this month
There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.
Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.
Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.
The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.
Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.
Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance
Personalize per playlist
Adding new songs to your Spotify playlist can be quite a monumental task. Trying to grab songs from a recommended playlist might not always mix and match well with a personal playlist’s mood. Spotify is improving recommendations with an all-new feature rolling out today: Spotify Enhance.
Launching in several countries all over the world, Enhance will automatically add songs which fits a playlist’s mood. Users who have the feature can toggle the feature on every playlist. The recommended song will then pop up in the playlist’s songs. Likewise, users can toggle the feature off to get rid of the recommended songs.
However, rather than dumping the recommendations at the start or at the end of a playlist, Spotify will sprinkle them after every two songs, providing a healthy balance between old and new songs. The feature will add only 30 songs at a time.
Additionally, these songs aren’t officially added to the playlist yet. If a user finds a song they like, they can link a plus icon beside the song. Added songs will be in the playlist permanently.
The feature will come only to Premium subscribers. Likewise, not every country will have the feature at first. Spotify hopes to roll out the feature for more countries in the coming weeks and months.
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