Your iPhone can help you check for coronavirus

Your iPhone’s Siri function can help screen you and provide info on the coronavirus pandemic

iPhone X
(Image credit: Future)

Misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic is easy to come by. While the government advice is based on self-isolation, good hygiene and regular handwashing, all sorts of rumours and incorrect advice are flying around news and social media networks. 

Tech companies are stepping up and helping to slow the spread of both the virus and misinformation around it: Apple, for example, is using the iPhone’s Siri function.

Siri will now respond to questions such as “Hey Siri, do I have coronavirus?” In America, the voice assistant will start a questionnaire based on the US government’s health guidelines. 

If symptoms are found to be serious, Siri will recommend the user call the emergency services or begin self-isolating, again in accordance 

Unfortunately, this service has not been rolled out everywhere. In the UK, Siri’s functionality to the same question extends to redirecting the user to gov.uk’s webpage on the coronavirus. Granted, similar questionnaires are hosted on the government’s website, but Apple has yet to roll out the native Siri questionnaire in other markets. 

iPhone 8

(Image credit: franz12 / Shutterstock.com)

 Other voice assistants are also getting in on the act: in response to the question “do I have coronavirus?” both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant will list the relevant symptoms to look out for (a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath) but with the caveat these symptoms are similar to other, more common illnesses, such as colds or flus. 

They will not then direct the user to the nhs.uk or gov.uk websites, although when tried on a Samsung Galaxy S20, Google Assistant opened its own coronavirus hub which contained links to both sites. 

The coronavirus pandemic is best fought by staying inside as much as possible, only leaving the house for essentials or one form of outdoor exercise a day. Best sign up for one of these incredible Disney Plus deals then…

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