Smartphone security is one of those hot topics in mobile and ever since Apple introduced their “kill switch” solution to help prevent unauthorized iPhone theft, we’ve been curious to see how Android would follow suit.
Back in August, California’s “kill switch” bill was signed into law, requiring any smartphone manufactured after July 2015 to have a security feature that will allow users to disable a handset if lost of stolen. Google hasn’t been quiet on the issue, stating back in June their plans to implementing a kill switch feature in the next version of Android, now known today as Android 5.0 Lollipop.
We haven’t heard much about it since then, but today the folks at Recode got word from Google on exactly how this security measure will work. More of a pseudo kill switch, the feature — known as “Factory Reset Protection” — doesn’t really kill anything. As the name suggests, all it does is require the user enter in a password before they can perform a full factory reset. It’s still up to users to either have some sort of lock screen security, or lock the phone remotely using the Android Device Manager in the event their phone is ever lost or stolen. This renders the phone useless to the new unauthorized user, but is easily reversible if ever recovered.
It’s still unclear if this method is 100% foolproof, or if a simple factory reset done via recovery or fastboot will bypass the security in Android’s software. In any case, it’s a welcomed addition and one of the many helpful new features arriving inside Android 5.0 Lollipop. We couldn’t be more excited when it begins rolling out early next month.