Microsoft has launched a new Bing-branded COVID-19 Tracker aiming to help users stay informed about the spread of coronavirus. The newly-reported tool centers around a self-updating map. Additionally, that's accompanied by localized coronavirus- and COVID-19-associated data and news.
The data used by COVID-19 Tracker is pooled from the CDC, the WHO, the European CDC, and Wikipedia. That means it is as accurate as the most recent data allows for. More to the point, that makes it safer and more accurate than many similarly-billed apps that have cropped up and been subsequently taken off of various mobile content markets.
How to use the new COVID-19 Tracker
Getting access to the new tool is fairly straightforward. Users need to open up their favorite browser and then navigate to "www.bing.com/covid" or use the button embedded below. That will work on both desktop and mobile platforms.
On either a smartphone or computer, users are presented with a scrollable world map. That can be navigated around and zoomed in on via taps or a mouse and easy-to-use UI. The latest global figures for active cases, overall cases, and both recovery and fatality rates are shown.
A list is presented on both platforms, showing collapsible cards for each country. Selecting a country reveals states or specific regions within that area. COVID-19 Tracker highlights detailed outbreak information at each level. When a region is selected, the latest news is also presented for that area.
For smartphone users, the list is pulled up from the bottom of the screen and then accessible via a tap on the "Global Status" card. News is laid out just below that on initial viewing. Desktop users will see that list to the left-hand side of the UI. In both cases, options are available for sharing the data easily via a given system or browser's standard methods.
Is this mapping data accurate?
Now, the data shown on the map is only the latest from the sources mentioned above. That doesn't mean it's perfectly accurate. And the details don't get closer than a state-by-state or regional count. So users aren't necessarily going to see figures for their city.
The data additionally isn't going to be 100-percent accurate or presented in real-time. While Microsoft is obviously going to do what it can to keep the figures in line with reported information, the state of testing and external reporting factors will impact the information. Not every COVID-19 case is necessarily going to be discovered and diagnosed quickly either, making the Microsoft-built tracker susceptible to discrepancies in the data.
However, the tool should still prove useful for those who are looking to keep an eye on the progression of coronavirus in their region.
This app will also be safer to use than others that may have more malicious intent. That's especially true with consideration for at least one newly-spotted malware on Android, found under the guise of a coronavirus tracking map application. Microsoft's new tool, at the very least, comes from a trusted company and makes use of official datasets.COVID-19 Tracker