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Android to get new Theft Detection Lock feature, protecting you from grab thefts

Android 15 will automatically lock your phone if its stolen.
By

Published onMay 15, 2024

TL;DR
  • Android is getting a new theft-detection feature to protect your information if your device is stolen.
  • Theft Detection Lock will lock your device if the accelerometer detects a “jump” followed by fast movement.
  • Theft detection is coming out later this year on Android 15 with older Android versions to follow.

When you have your phone stolen, you have more to worry about than not getting it back. If your phone was unlocked, the thief could potentially steal information off of the device. Fortunately, it looks like Android 15 will get a feature that will help protect that sensitive information.

During Google I/O, the company unveiled a new feature called Theft Detection Lock. The feature is designed to lock your device if it detects that your phone may have been stolen.

Android Theft Protection
Google

If you’re wondering how your phone will know if it was stolen, Google says the feature works by detecting three factors:

  • Phone is unlocked
  • The accelerator detects a “jump”
  • Fast movement away from the location

If your device detects these three factors, it will automatically lock itself. You can also call a number from a different phone that will ask you for a PIN to lock your phone again. When this feature activates, you’ll still be able to use Find My Device to locate your phone.

Protect sensitive settings
Google

Theft Detection Lock is a little different than the Stolen Device Protection feature that rolled out to the iPhone with the iOS 17.3 beta in December. That feature uses Face ID or Touch ID authentication if they are outside of a familiar location. It then locks the person out from accessing sensitive information or performing sensitive actions if a Face ID or Touch ID isn’t provided.

Theft Detection Lock will be available on Android 15 first later this year. However, Google plans to bring support for the feature to older Android versions.

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