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The security features in iOS 7 have been praised by many who were formerly harsh critics of the few (but nevertheless extant) safeguards against theft on iDevices, including New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. But now that it's out, the NYPD is taking steps to ensure that as many people as possible download the new OS in hopes of curbing New York City's rising iPhone theft epidemic.
Specifically, as reported by AllThingsD, the NYPD is posting flyers around Apple retail stores in the New York area encouraging the download of iOS 7 and use of Activation Lock, the new feature in iOS 7 that requires the entry of the original user's Apple ID and password before you can erase the device, disable Find My iPhone, or even reactivate the iPhone or iPad.
Source: Jim Rosenberg
As reported by MacRumors, the practice even extends to local subway stations, where police officers could be find passing out the same flyers to passersby. Twitter user Michael Hoffman posted an image of the flyer, as did Jim Rosenberg. Several commentators are also speculating that the practice serves as a deterrent to thieves, who might be less likely to try to steal iPhones and iPads if they know that erasing them has become more difficult.
If I may, I'll add my own little cautionary tale. Just two weeks ago, my iPhone 5 was stolen after I apparently left it on the counter at a local Chicago-area Subway sandwich shop. I realized it only five minutes later, but it was too late--indeed, whoever took it had already reset it within the next 10 minutes as it never again appeared on Find My iPhone. Who knows? Had it happened just a week later after my download of iOS 7, I might have found my phone again. So download iOS 7, if only for that reason alone.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.