Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Police in New York Really Want You to Download iOS 7

wwdc6_ios7slideThe New York Police Department has more of a relationship with Apple’s iPhone than merely performing crowd control at and around Apple stores on iPhone launch days like yesterday.

A new iPhone model also means a probable uptick in attempts to steal them. And since Friday’s launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c also happens to coincide with the launch of Apple’s iOS 7, which has some new security measures intended to deter theft, New York’s finest and other police agencies around the U.S. are making an effort to get people to download it.

The new feature is called Activation Lock (read the official information from Apple here) and basically what it does is force anyone who has the phone — including anyone who has stolen it — to enter an Apple ID and password before they can turn off the “Find My Phone” security feature, erase it or reactivate it.

Naturally, this feature is helpful to police who are often called upon to locate stolen phones, so they’re pushing iPhone owners to download the new OS.

My friend Jim Rosenberg just Tweeted this picture of a handout his partner Santiago was given by an NYPD officer outside a subway station on 168th St. in Manhattan.

Some of New York’s finest were also spotted handing out these fliers near an Apple Store.

And in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, local parents have been asked by the NYPD’s 78th Precinct to tweet and spread the word about the new security features. Here’s a screen grab of a message posted to Facebook. (Hat tip to Nancy Groves.)

park_slope_parents

Earlier in the week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón issued a joint statement praising Apple and urging people to download iOS 7.

There is a catch. As John Paczkowski noted yesterday, there are ways to bypass the new security measures that will require a software update in the future. Still, it looks as though if you have an older iPhone — iOS 7 is supported on both the iPhone 5 and the 4S — there are some solid if imperfect deterrents against theft built in.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald