In a significant security improvement, a so-called ‘kill switch’ will be introduced with the next version of Android. Whilst information about the feature is limited at the moment, essentially it will enable Android devices to be locked in the event of a theft, in order to prevent any further use.
It is hoped that introducing a kill switch will make Android devices much less desirable to thieves. A US-based campaign called Secure our Smartphones claims that iPhone thefts fell by 19% following the introduction of a similar feature.
Whilst iPhone thefts may have reduced, Secure our Smartphones also says that thefts of Samsung devices increased by 40%. The South Korean manufacturer only began implementing its own kill switch on some of its products from April this year.
Google and Apple will be joined by Microsoft, who intend to implement a kill switch for Windows Phone before June 2015.
As the number of devices with kill switches increases, it it hoped that thefts will fall dramatically, as the value of any stolen devices will drop considerably.
It is still worth noting, though, that given the high costs of smartphones, spare parts such as screens will remain desirable objects. So whilst we may reach a point where nearly all smartphones are effectively useless once stolen, the hardware itself will still retain some value.
[via PC Pro]