The Indian government launched the Aarogya Setu app on Android and iOS a few days ago. This COVID-19 tracking app uses Bluetooth and location to track your interaction with someone who could have been tested coronavirus positive. In just three days of launch, the Aarogya Setu app has become the top free app in India on Google Play and App Store both. It has also managed to attract 5 million installs on Google Play Store. For those unaware, the app essentially helps users identify whether they are at a risk of COVID-19 infection, by checking if the user has come into contact with an infected person knowingly or unknowingly.
At the time of writing, the Aarogya Setu app has over 5 million downloads on Google Play Store. Arnab Kumar, Program Director of Frontier Technologies at NITI Aayog, has also tweeted that the app has actually managed to gain close to 8 million installs in just three days of launch. The App Store does not reveal the number of installs of the app, but Aarogya Setu is on the top spot in the Health and Fitness section, apart from being on the top spot in the Free Apps section.
The Aarogya Setu app is considered to be the official source of all coronavirus-related information and an important tool to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is being encouraged for use through a number of different means by the government, and one of them is schools. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE board) has recommended all schools and institutions to urge students, teachers, parents, staff, and other family members to install the app.
The Aarogya Setu app proactively offers information regarding risks, best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19. All of the information is vetted by the government's Department of Health. The app supports a host of Indian languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, and English to help the diverse population across states gain access without difficulty. For those concerned about their privacy, the app asks for access to Bluetooth and Location, and during the registration process, the app notes, “Your data will only be shared with the Government of India. The app does not allow your name and number to be disclosed to the public at large at any time.”