Jun 11, 2013
Apple hopes to reduce iOS device theft by introducing an extra step in the activation process of an iOS device. This feature is already included in their latest version of iOS that also serve as their answer to US government officials’ call to reduce smartphone related crimes. For the uninformed the US government invited Apple, Google and similar companies in a smartphone summit that is bound to happen on June 13. The main purpose of the summit is to discuss the increasing mobile device theft related incidents happening all over the country. With Apple’s announcement of iOS 7, it would seem that the Cupertino based company is now leading the mobile operating system security and innovation race ahead of Google.
The latest iOS 7 feature called the ‘Activation Lock’ can be used by Apple device owners to effectively prevent thieves from reusing a stolen iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices. In effect, this security feature will discourage robbers that will eventually reduce mobile device theft incidents. Apple refer to this feature to be “a really powerful theft deterrent” in their announcement of iOS 7 at WWDC 2013. The only question now is whether the Activation Lock feature will be rolled out to all Apple devices including the ones that cannot be updated to iOS 7.
Previously, anyone can reuse any iOS device after erasing or wiping and reactivate it using a new Apple ID. With this new feature in place, an extra step is performed and that is to require the user to activate an iPhone or iPad using the last known Apple ID and password used on the device. Additionally, this feature will also become a requirement to disable the ‘Find My iPhone’ location service. So if your iPhone or iPad or any iOS device that you own is stolen, the thief will be having a device that is inoperable and useless. The only thing that you can do with a dead device it is to use it as paper weight.
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