With the release of Apple’s iOS 7 tomorrow, District Attorney George Gascon will ask all iPhone owners to update their phones immediately in an effort to curb smartphone robberies and related violent crime, according to a spokesperson.

The new operating system has a feature that may deter iPhone robberies, which have soared in many cities. The “Find My iPhone Activation Lock” will require robbers to have an Apple ID and password to deactivate the “Find My iPhone” feature on stolen iPhones, making stolen iPhones less valuable.

In June, Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman held a “Smartphone Summit” with representatives from smartphone manufacturers to encourage them to add this type of safety feature. Their Secure Our Smartphones initiative has a change.org petition with 2,846 supporters asking smartphone manufacturers to better secure their products to protect customers. London Mayor Boris Johnson joined the initiative in August.

“Last year, 50 percent of the robberies in San Francisco involved a stolen mobile communications device,” according to the Secure Our Smartphones initiative.

Alexander Mullaney

Alexander Mullaney is a journalist and publisher in San Francisco. In 2008, he founded The Ingleside Light, a monthly neighborhood newspaper with a circulation of 10,000. In The Ingleside Light he reports...

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