Activation Lock Stories February 12

How to get around Activation Lock on iPhone, iPad, Mac, more

Having trouble with a locked Apple device? Follow along for how to get around Activation Lock on iPhone, iPadiPod touch, Mac, and Apple Watch. We’ll look at several steps including an Activation Lock web tool from Apple that’s new for 2021.

Apple has launched a new way for users in the United States to more easily disable Activation Lock on their device. As first spotted by users on Reddit, there is now a dedicated webpage on Apple’s website for managing Activation Lock requests.

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Activation Lock Stories August 25, 2016

Future iPhones & iPads could video thieves and capture their fingerprints

An Apple patent noted by Patently Apple describes how iOS devices could make it very easy to police to identify thieves by automatically taking photos and video of them, and capturing their fingerprint data via the Touch ID sensor.

Activation Lock Stories January 28, 2016

power-1

Anyone who has ever accidentally left behind their iPhone or iPad in a public place like a coffee shop will know the sinking feeling in your stomach the moment you realize you’ve done it. Even if you rush back just one or two minutes later, you know there’s a high chance that the device will be gone.

If the worst happens, and you have another device with you, Find My iPhone lets you track the stolen device – except thieves tend to know this, and all they have to do to prevent it is to power-down their ill-gotten gains. This can be done while the device is locked, with no Touch ID or passcode access needed …

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Activation Lock Stories November 5, 2015

panic-mode

The USPTO has today published a patent application by Apple to allow a specific fingerprint to activate a ‘panic mode’ on an iPhone, designed for use when the owner feels threatened, is in danger or is being forced to unlock their phone.

In its most basic form, placing a specific finger on the Touch ID button would place the iPhone into a special locked-down mode, blocking access to personal data store on the phone – perhaps simulating a brand new phone. In that way, if a street robber forced you to unlock your phone before handing it over, your data would be safe.

But the patent application goes far beyond this …  expand full story

Activation Lock Stories July 27, 2015

iphone-thefts

While Activation Lock has dramatically reduced iPhone thefts in some cities, with reductions as high as 50%, police data collated by the WSJ shows that the effect isn’t as great as expected in others. iPhone thefts fell by only 11% in Oakland, by 17% in Austin and actually increased by 32% in Seattle …  expand full story

Activation Lock Stories February 11, 2015

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Officials in three major cities have reported dramatic reductions in iPhone thefts since Apple introduced Activation Lock as part of iOS 7, preventing devices being re-activated without the original owner’s iCloud login. Reuters reports that the number of reported iPhone thefts has fallen year-on-year by 25% in New York, 40% in San Francisco and 50% in London …  expand full story

Activation Lock Stories January 7, 2015

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Bloomberg reports that a Manhattan District Attorney is challenging recent moves by Apple, Google and other tech companies by suggesting government pass laws that prevent mobile devices from being “sealed off from law enforcement.” In an interview this week, the government official called it “an issue of public safety.” expand full story

Activation Lock Stories October 1, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 9.40.52 PM

Apple has unveiled a new tool for users to help determine whether an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is configured to use Activation Lock. The page works much like the tools used by carriers such as AT&T to determine whether a potential trade-in device was protected with the feature. You enter the IMEI or serial number of the device, fill in a CAPTCHA, and press “Continue” to get your results (via iDownloadblog).

If the device is protected, you’ll find instructions for disabling the security measure before selling it. You’ll also find help for removing a used device from another user’s account, in the event that you were sold a phone and the original owner had not disabled it (of course, all of those options involve contacting the previous owner and having them do it, for security purposes).

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Activation Lock Stories June 18, 2014

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When Apple introduced the new Activation Lock anti-theft system with iOS 7 to help prevent the re-use of stolen iOS devices, some lawmakers saw it as the perfect way to help quell smartphone theft. In fact, many sought to make features like it standard on all mobile devices. Today, the New York Times has released some new numbers that shows a decrease in iPhone theft following the implementation of Activation Lock.

According to New York police, thefts involving Apple products have dropped by 19% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. London and San Francisco authorities have seen even more impressive drops, with 24% and 38% reductions in iOS device thefts, respectively, in the six months following the feature’s release when compared to the six months immediately preceding it.

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Activation Lock Stories April 15, 2014

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Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds: expand full story

Activation Lock Stories April 3, 2014

iOS 7 bug allows anyone to disable Find My iPhone and bypass Activation Lock without a password

Starting with iOS 7, deleting an iCloud account or restoring a device requires Find My iPhone to be disabled. Find My iPhone, in turn, requires the user to enter the password for the Apple ID attached to the iCloud account. This system ensures that phone thieves can’t remove the account and avoid being tracked through the Find My iPhone website.

Unfortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to bypass this requirement, as demonstrated in the video above. To do so, you first need to tap both “delete account” and the switch to disable Find My iPhone at the same time in the iCloud settings panel. That’s actually the hardest part of the entire process. When prompted for a password, hold down the power button and shut down the phone.

Activation Lock Stories March 7, 2014

iPhone owners 46 percent less likely to need to replace their phone

Figures from insurance company ProtectCell show that iPhone owners are 46 percent less likely to need a replacement than owners of other smartphones, and 11 percent less likely to need a repair.

While iPhones seemingly have higher build quality than other phones (or perhaps more careful owners), it comes as no surprise to see they are more desirable to thieves, with iPhone thefts 65 percent higher than those of other smartphones. A number that will hopefully fall when word reaches the criminal world about Activation Lock.

Update: ProtectCELL emailed us to say their press release contained the wrong figure (reading 54 percent instead of 46 percent). We have updated with the correct one.

Activation Lock Stories January 13, 2014

nypd

Thefts of Apple products made up 18 percent of all grand larcenies in New York City last year, reports the WSJ, citing NYPD figures. Of the 47,000 grand larcenies occuring in the city last year, 8,465 involved Apple products.

Many of the thefts happen on public transportation, where most people are buried in their devices and aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, said Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective. “It’s easy pickings,” he said …  expand full story

Activation Lock Stories December 18, 2013

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When Apple debuted iOS 7 earlier this year, one of the many new features covered at the keynote event was Activation Lock. The feature is an addition to the existing Find My iPhone system that helps recover lost or stolen iOS devices. While Find My iPhone mainly focuses on locating tracking the missing device on a map, Activation Lock is designed to keep thieves from using stolen phones.

George Gascón, San Francisco district attorney, has called on Apple to enable this feature by default, requiring users to opt-out of the service rather than opting in. Gascón cites a recent survey of 313 San Franciscans which revealed that 79% of responding iPhone users had enabled Find My iPhone and Activation Lock.

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Activation Lock Stories September 19, 2013

Activation Lock Stories August 2, 2013

Google copies Find my iPhone with new ‘Android Device Manager’

Google today announced on its Official Android Blog that it’s launching a brand new tool called ‘Android Device Manager’ that will let users easily locate and remotely wipe misplaced or stolen devices. Anyone familiar with the Find My iPhone feature that Apple has made available to iOS device users will already be quite familiar with how the software works.

Much like Apple’s service, Android Device Manager will let users locate their device on a Map in real-time, as well as remotely wipe the device of all data if happens to get into the wrong hands. You’ll also be able to make your device ring at maximum volume if you happen to misplace it in a nearby location.

If you ended up dropping your phone between those couch cushions, Android Device Manager lets you quickly ring your phone at maximum volume so you can find it, even it’s been silenced. And in the event that your phone or tablet is out of earshot (say, at that restaurant you left it at last night), you can locate it on a map in real time

Google’s announcement comes at a time when government officials are pressuring Apple, Google, and other smartphone manufacturers to implement new theft deterrent features. While Google’s new tool would be one step in the right direction, it doesn’t appear to go beyond what Apple has already had in place since back in 2010.

Recently, Apple announced a new Activation Lock feature that requires an Apple ID and password to reactivate a stolen phone after being remotely erased/wiped by the owner through the Apple Find my iPhone feature. The login information will also now be required to turn off Find My iPhone. If a user’s device is stolen, wiping the device clean will essentially leave the thief with a device that is inoperable without the user’s Apple ID and password. It doesn’t appear that Google’s new tool includes a similar feature.

Google said the new Android Device Manager service will available later this month for devices running Android 2.2 and up, and an Android app will also be available to help users manage their devices.

Activation Lock Stories June 10, 2013

Ahead of a meeting with government officials later this month to discuss how Apple could prevent increasing smartphone crimes, Apple today introduced a new feature called ‘Activation Lock’ that it says will be “a really powerful theft deterrent” when released later this fall in iOS 7.

We told you earlier this month that government officials in the US were calling Apple, Google and others to a “smartphone summit” later this month on June 13 to discuss the increasing amount of smartphone related crime in New York city and the rest of the country. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon have been pushing smartphone makers to come up with solutions to prevent crime and discourage thefts of devices.

Today, during its WWDC keynote presentation ahead of the meeting later this month, Apple introduced the ‘Activation Lock’ feature that will require an Apple ID and password to reactivate a stolen phone after being remotely erased/wiped by the owner through Apple Find my iPhone feature. The login information will also now be required to turn off Find My iPhone.

If a user’s device is stolen, wiping the device clean will essentially leave the thief with a device that is inoperable without the user’s Apple ID and password (as pictured above): expand full story

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