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.

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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 on community affairs and publishes the work of both local and student journalists and photographers. He sits on the board of directors of the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, the Ocean Avenue Association, and the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association. In the summer of 2013, Mullaney organized and managed two community journalism courses for youth with City College of San Francisco and the non-profit Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse. The pilot program paid students stipends, offered both high school and college credit, and published their articles and photographs in The Ingleside Light. He intends to find funding to offer the program in 2014. Mullaney holds a bachelors degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. He is studying multimedia and longform writing at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He plans to use his time at graduate school to expand his reportage to produce stories for the public good.

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