As we discussed in our previous blog, there is a strong argument to be made that Bluetooth Contact tracing is too Blue Sky. The technology has been overhyped, over promised and, in the UK at least , the delivery so bungled that public confidence has been completely undermined. In the meantime we are stepping back to manual contact tracing efforts, with privacy characteristics that don’t come anywhere close to the lofty aspirations of decentralised contact tracing apps.
Contact tracing has been in the news a lot in recent months. No wonder. It’s widely seen as playing a key role in opening our societies up again after lockdown, and an important part of the strategy for countries that have already done well in suppressing transmissions. As technologists we, and many like us, immediately jumped onto the possibilities of Bluetooth. A ready made technology available on just about every smartphone designed for ubiquitous short range radio communication. Perfect. We just need to throw an app together and we can map all the contacts people are having day to day, so if anyone gets sick we can automatically alert anyone else that might have been exposed. Cool. Should be ready in a couple of weeks, right?
Our aim is to make the process of integrating Approov into your mobile app as simple as possible. Our Quickstart guides show you how to add Approov into your app, tailored to whatever framework or programming style you’ve already adopted. In this blog we are going to cover the options we have for iOS Native app development.
We’ve been thinking a lot about contact tracing apps in recent weeks. There are ongoing debates about whether a centralised or decentralised model is superior, and how the ensuing discussions around privacy will impact their takeup.
When the NHSX contact tracing app was made available in the app stores last Thursday we decided to take a quick look at its operation and how the code has been put together. We used the Android version and the excellent MobSF tools to do our reversing analysis. On Friday the full source code of the app was also published on github.
More details of the UK's controversial NHSX contact tracing app are being released as the app starts a wider scale trial on the Isle of Wight this week. NHSX is a digital transformation group associated with the UK National Health Service.
Why controversial? There are many reasons, some to do with how the app development was initially procured, but also specifically from a technical perspective as the UK has opted for a centralised contact tracing approach rather than the decentralised model being championed by Apple and Google amongst others (including ourselves).
Google announced Android App Bundles a couple of years ago at I/O 2018. App Bundles are a new app publishing format providing new features that have rapidly driven their adoption. In particular App Bundle delivery enables automatic splitting of various assets within the overall app package, so they are only delivered to a device if they are actually needed.
Approov lets your mobile app prove to a backend API that it really is the official mobile app making the call, and that it is not running in an environment that may be compromised. Only requests from the apps that you specifically allow can make successful requests.
Our aim is to make the process of integrating Approov into your mobile app as simple as possible. Our Quickstart guides show you how to Approov into your app, tailored to whatever framework or programming style you’ve already adopted. In this blog we are going to cover the comprehensive options we have for Android Native app development.