Google is becoming more serious about security on Android. The search giant issued a statement yesterday confirming it will introduce a so-called kill switch into the next version of Android, a feature that will enable owners to prevent thieves from factory resetting stolen phones. That follows Apple’s implementation of a similar technology in iOS 7, which one consumer advocacy group said helped to reduce iPhone thefts in San Francisco by 38 percent.
The company spokesperson was vague about how the feature will be implemented, but it’s a safe bet the functionality will be rolled into an Android Device Manager update down the line. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Google will be able to introduce it through Google Play Services – a “kill switch” would require low-level access only accessible to baked-in firmware code. Devices that don’t receive an update to the next version of Android, then, may ultimately be left without.
Should a “kill switch” be priority for the Android team? Sound off in the comments.