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Apple Tackles Thieves With Remote iOS 7 Kill-Switch

Earlier today, Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system at WWDC: iOS 7. The major update ushers in a host of new features including a new control center, a completely redesigned user interface, improved multitasking and a male voice for Siri. But one of the neatest new tricks is the ability to lock your device remotely: take that thieves!

If you’ve ever experienced the pain of having your iPhone stolen, one of the coolest additions to iOS 7 is the Activation Lock. As its name implies, this allows you to set your phone so it can’t be activated again without your iTunes password.

New security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password [and] your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is.

In other words, you can stop would-be thieves from enjoying your property at the press of a button.

Find My iPhone will continue to display a message with your phone number on the Lock screen even after a remote erase — just in case it’s not actually stolen. If you manage to get it back, you can then reactivate it by entering your Apple ID and password.

Apple is hoping that this new feature will seriously deter would-be thieves from swiping iOS devices. While we doubt it will make much of a dent in the number of iPhone thefts, at least you’ll be able to deprive the culprit of using your phone or making a profit.

The Activation Lock will be available on all iOS 7-compatible devices including the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad, iPad Mini and the iPod Touch (5th generation).

You can read more about the Activation Lock and the rest of iOS 7′s goodies in our complete overview.