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Well, that was quick. Just last week the New York Times was lamenting about how so little's being done (in their eyes) to curb the rising thefts of iPhones and iPads, and today Absolute Software trumpeted their Computrace Mobile Theft Management Program as the first real iOS "loss management and theft recovery" service available. It looks like it's targeted more toward businesses and organizations than to the iPad user on the street, but it's at least a step in the right direction.
It's important to distinguish the service from existing options that simply shut off the device or wipe its data remotely. With the Computrace program, Absolute Software promises a dual system of loss prevention and theft recovery. The details of the loss prevention program remain a little vague, with Absolute only announcing that it provides customers with "the tools to implement best practices within their organization and amongst users to ensure these iOS devices are handled responsibly." According to Absolute's site, some of the aforementioned tools include indentity tags and registration in Absolute's database.
The theft recovery benefits are much clearer. Once someone under the plan reports a stolen iPad, the Absolute Investigations team starts working with local law enforcement to help with the investigation and recover the iPad. In the event that the Absolute Investigations team is unable to recover an iPad, a service guarantee covers the loss.
Bold words, but apparently there's plenty of success stories to back them up. Absolute Software CEO John Livingston added that the Absolute Investigations team has already used the technology to assist in 29,000 successful recoveries of other mobile devices in 97 countries. “As a result of this hard work, we have built a global network of relationships with law enforcement agencies and innovative investigative techniques our customers can leverage to recover stolen iPad and iPad mini devices,” said Livingston.
The program was also used at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon as a part of a technology immersion program that loaned iPads to students. Jedediah Gilchrist, the senior manager of infrastructure and operations at Portland Public Schools, was pleased with the results. “Absolute Software was the only company we found able to offer the kind of comprehensive plan to respond to theft (in the event it should occur) that would give staff, administrators and parents the peace of mind they need in order to let this program flourish.”
If there's a catch, it's that it appears to be tailored for businesses or large entities like Roosevelt High School, and the site's language suggests the service only applies to iPads and iPad Minis. Pricing for the service is also only available upon request, so there's a good chance you'll simply want to stick with Find My iPad if you're an average iPad owner.
(Source: Absolute Software)