iOS 7: Activation Lock Gets Thumbs Up from US Government

Attorney George Gascón says he noticed “clear improvements” in iOS security

After vowing to get all smartphone manufacturers to implement a kill-switch to thwart thieves (amid growing smartphone theft reports), US government officials decided to test the latest security features included by Apple and Samsung in their respective platforms.

Regarding Apple’s Activation Lock in iOS 7, which is currently in beta, District Attorney George Gascón said he noticed “clear improvements” in the technologies aimed at preventing smartphone theft, the SF Examiner reports.

“I'm very optimistic that they came and were willing to share their technology with us,” Gascón said, adding that he wants to see Microsoft and Google take a similar approach.

Activation Lock in iOS 7 is a Find My iPhone feature that can either help you get it back, or have the phone’s contents kept away from prying eyes.

“Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased,” says Apple on the promotional page of iOS 7.

“And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is,” the iPhone maker adds.

iOS 7 is scheduled to debut this fall, delivering a set of new features that make the software more compelling than ever, but also a redesign which some reviewers have praised. Others have lamented at the choice in colors, fonts, and the iconography.

The software will be compatible only with some of the iDevices currently in circulation today. Those include iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, the fourth-generation iPod touch, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Any other new iDevice scheduled to debut this fall is likely to ship pre-installed with iOS 7.

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