Samsung this week said its upcoming Galaxy S5—releasing April 11—will come with anti-theft software on Verizon and U.S. Cellular. As smartphone theft becomes more commonplace, lawmakers have pressured big tech companies into offering software to deter thieves from targeting users. Apple has Find My iPhone and activation lock features, and now Samsung has come up with its own solutions, including “Find My Mobile” and “Reactivation Lock.” No word on whether these features will be available on other carriers, of if they come to older devices.
“Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions,” Samsung said in a statement.
The company’s features will act as you’d expect, locking a device if there’s an unauthorized attempt to rest it, and allowing users to easily track their S5 down should it be lost. Google last year introduced a service called Android Device Manager, which allows users to easily locate, reset, and erase data on a device—Samsung’s software is similar, and is designed specifically for use on the S5.
California lawmakers this week introduced a bill, which has yet to pass, that would require smartphones to come with anti-theft software out of the box. For the past several months, legislators have been calling on manufacturers to introduce kill switches to better protect smartphone owners from theft. New York, Illinois and Minnesota are all considering similar bills, while legislation has also been introduced in both houses of Congress.
There’s reportedly been blowback from carriers regarding kill switches, with some complaining about the elimination of second-hand sales, among other reasons. Seeing a solution implemented in such a large device on two major carriers is a big step toward making anti-theft software a requirement. Time reports that manufacturers have a June deadline to find solutions to curb smartphone theft.