Android 5.0 Lollipop to Have Security Feature Kill Switch: Stolen Phones to Go Useless


Google unveiled the much speculated and written about handsets the Motorola Nexus 6 and the HTC Nexus 9 alongside the Asus Nexus Player and the next version of Android5.0 Lollipop.

The Android Lollipop will power the all the devices unveiled by Google. The Android Lollipop is packed with new features and also caters to business users. The Lollipop interface has a common look across all devices like cars, watches, TV along with phones and tablets, Hiroshi Lockheimer the Vice-President of Engineering said in aninterview to Re/code.

There is a law in California that requires all smartphones manufactured by the beginning of July 2015 to have a feature called the “kill switch”. This is to discourage thieves from stealing phones. Google has incorporated the kill switch into the Android 5.0 Lollipop. The new Android version includes a feature called “Factory Reset Protection”. When the phone is being reset to factory settings this feature would require a password entered before the reset. This can make the phone useless when stolen, according to Lockheimer.

The Verge reported San Francisco District Attorney General Gascon andNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that majority of the smartphone owners now have access to a theft deterrent solution. According to both of them, there is still work to be done as they want to see that all smartphones are enabled by default with this feature so that it will keep criminals at bay from stealing phones.

Apple iOS too has different theft protection features that have reduced the theft of iPhones considerably according to Gascon and Schneiderman. The move to inculcate a protection feature like the kill switch in the Android L will make a big difference to Android phones. Another feature in the new version of Android is data encryption. Users data will be automatically encrypted which adds to the security of the smartphone.

But this may not happen immediately because of the reason that being a user need to update their phones to the new version of Android and this would take some time. But, it would eventually happen. Microsoft is also gearing up to include the kill switch feature into the Windows phone.


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