On Thursday, Google announced that it will be incorporating a ‘kill switch’ in the next major iteration of its Android mobile platform. Apart from Google, software giant Microsoft is also planning to add the kill switch option to the Windows Phone 8.1 based handsets via a software update. Interestingly, this update will also be sent to those Lumia models that were launched before Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia. Both the firms have inked an agreement with the New York Attorney General regarding the same.
A kill switch is nothing but a factory reset protection solution that is especially designed for the owners to safeguard their smartphones when it is subjected to theft. With this feature, users of stolen devices can report that their device is missing and also disable it so that others cannot use the device without the specific credentials.
Already, Google’s Android Device Manager came with a similar feature that allows users to remotely wipe all the data or lock their device once it is stolen. The feature was capable of tracking the location of the phone using GPS, hence it is unclear is Google will add the kill switch security feature in the Android Device Manager or as an additional protection layer.
Prior to Google, the Cupertino based tech titan has announced a kill switch option for the iPhone in September 2013. The New York Attorney General cited that after the implementation of the same a 19% drop was noticed in the iPhone thefts, whereas the Samsung devices that lack such a feature have witnessed a 40% increase in thefts.
We can expect Google to officially announce the same along with the launch of other services at the forthcoming Google I/O conference to happen next week.