Pro Tip: Your Apple Watch’s Activation Lock may already be on


Apple Watch Siri
Yes, Siri. It's already on.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugThis week’s release of watchOS 2 brings a much-needed security update to Apple’s wearable by adding Activation Lock to the device, and the great news is that you may not even have to do anything to add it.

Activation Lock has been around for a while for other Apple devices, and its purpose is to keep thieves from using them even if they manage to get ahold of your preciouses. The first version of watchOS only included basic locking features and a passkey, which wouldn’t keep smart evildoers from gaining access to sensitive data like your Apple Pay data.

Here’s how the feature shows up on the Apple Watch.

Find My iPhone reunites family that escaped California wildfire


Find My iPhone. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Find my iPhone helped reunite a separated family.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was reunited with his family after they fled their burning home — thanks to Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature.

Paul Duncan was on a job fighting a forest fire in Hidden Valley, California, when he received a panicked call from his wife saying that his family — consisting of his wife, son and two teenaged daughters — had escaped from their neighborhood when another major wildfire broke out.

Teen killed after using app to track lost smartphone


Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Photo: Apple

There are plenty of great stories about people using the Find my iPhone feature to track down and reclaim stolen iOS devices. However, a story which emerged this week shows the tragic flipside of that phenomenon.

18-year-old Brampton, Ontario native Jeremy Cook died from multiple gunshot wounds after tracking down his lost phone, and then confronting the three men who had taken it.

How to find your iPhone’s last location even after the battery dies


App slicing just isn't a thing, yet.
Lost that iPhone again, huh? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Picture this: You’ve lost your iPhone somewhere, but it’s run out of juice and it’s not ringing or vibrating when you call it.

You might think you’re out of luck, but there’s one function you can enable (or disable if you’re into privacy) that will keep track of your iPhone’s last location, even when the battery’s dead.

Why the kill switch law can make iPhone theft obsolete


SACRAMENTO — California just flipped the kill switch for smartphones, in a move to make iCrime a thing of the past.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962). The law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.

There’s some reason to hope that the kill switch will do for smartphones what sophisticated alarm systems did for cars: make stealing them less appealing than a pair of leg warmers. Car thefts plummeted 96 percent  in New York City when engine immobilizer systems came into play.