Smartphone thefts as a whole are on the rise, and according to a massive new report from the FCC, they now account for 10 percent of all robberies in the United States. But there's a silver lining to the announcement. Ever since Apple implemented its Activation Lock for iOS 7, thefts of the company's coveted handset have dropped sharply.
Apple's "Complete My Album" feature is great for music fans, but don't you wish there was a way to do the same thing with TV series? VUDU announced just such a feature this week that allows customers to complete an entire TV season at a discounted price, and better yet upgrade the quality to 1080p HDX for less. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for our Thursday edition of the MacLife.com news recap...
Yesterday we brought you the story of two Dutch hackers who managed to find a way around the Activation Lock Apple introduced to curb iPhone theft, and now Cult of Mac reports that the duo deleted an e-mail from Apple asking for more information. One of them, AquaXetine, also announced the deletion in a tweet from yesterday.
Apple has done a lot to keep iPhones safer from thefts over the last year or so, most notably in the introduction of Activation Lock with iOS 7. But now Dutch publication De Telegraaf (via MacRumors) reports that two hackers dubbing themselves AquaXetine and MerrukTechnolog have found a way around Apple's usually effective system for keeping user data safe.
When Apple introduced a "kill switch" of sorts for iPhones and iPads with the release of iOS 7, it was hailed as a landmark moment in the growing fight against smartphone theft. But as Re/code reports (via MacRumors) it may soon be required as part of a federal law directed at all smartphones sold in the United States. The federal bill follows a similar one introduced in the state of California last week.
The news over the last year has been stuffed with tales of stolen iDevices and the measures used to present those thefts, but it's been woefully silent on whether such techniques actually work. But they do, as Stuff.co.nz reports (via Cult of Mac), and they do it well. Using Apple's Find My iPad feature, father and son duo Chris and Markham Phillips of New Zealand were able to hunt down the thief who took their iPad and even retrieve it.
Earlier this week we reported that New York City was still struggling with a staggering tide of iPhone thefts, but the petty thievery involved in most of the instances pales in comparison to an incident yesterday in Germany. Likely traveling at full speed, a band of thieves stole around 70,000 Euros' worth of Apple products (or $95,200) in a truck. As Germany's N-TV reports (via 9to5Mac), it's the kind of thing you'd expect to see in James Bond films.
Another year, another report of Apple products and crime in New York City. Today's take on the old story comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Apple products made up around 18 percent of all grand larcenies in New York in 2013. Put another way, almost one-fifth of the 47,000 items reported as stolen in the Big Apple last year were Apple products.
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.
Samsung may be getting ever more aggressive with their creative ads that play up their Galaxy smartphone over the iPhone, but sometimes it seems as though Apple doesn't even have to spend the effort to fight back. You see, back in February, 25-year-old Travis Montgomery Snyder allegedly broke into a Springfield, Virginia wireless store and made off with "several iPhones." How'd they catch him? According to the Washington Post, he left his Samsung Galaxy behind. You can't make this stuff up.