NYPD to iPhone owners: Hurry up and download iOS 7

Police in New York hand out fliers explaining to Apple faithful that iOS 7 brings with it Activation Lock, which makes it harder for a thief to turn off the "Find My Phone" feature.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Thieves are going to love that gold one. Apple

When a policeman asks me to do something, I can be overcome with suspicion.

For example, when a policeman asked me to pull over at the next exit on the freeway, I had a feeling it was for his benefit, rather than mine.

So when the New York Police Department started handing out flyers outside the city's Apple stores on Friday, I had to wonder how this would help them.

Well, it would appear that the police in New York are entirely fed up of chasing after iPhone thieves.

In New York, iPhone and iPad theft leaped 40 percent in 2012. It's showing no signs of slowing.

So the NYPD would like all iPhone owners to download iOS 7 immediately.

As AllThingsD reports, the fliers explained: "Should your iPhone get lost or stolen, it cannot be reprogrammed without an Apple ID and password."

This is thanks to Activation Lock, which prevents a thief from deactivating your Find My Phone feature.

There is a slight kink in the police's confidence, given that Apple is currently attempting to fix an iOS 7 lock screen hack that allows others unauthorized access to much of the innards of your iPhone.

Despite the relative lack of excitement around the products themselves, Apple still managed to create an air of expectancy on Friday.

However, the way that the company manipulated the sudden, strange, and shocking shortage of gold iPhones surely can't have helped the police's digestion of their doughnuts.

The more an item becomes coveted (though Lord knows there's nothing terribly special about this gold iPhone), the more one suspects that thieves will be enthusiastic to get hold of it.

Still, to have the police lend a helping hand so that Apple can announce a record number of iOS 7 downloads in a terribly short time, adds an aura to proceedings.

There's no evidence to suggest that Apple inspired the NYPD to patrol the company's stores with good intent.

Not that Apple has always been above asking the police to help it with its, um, inquiries.

A flyer spotted by World Bank digital strategist, Jim Rosenberg.