Smartphones are stolen very easily and Android developers along with carriers have been struggling hard to come with methods of finding them, though they don’t always work. The carriers can track devices using cellular towers, while the phone maker and some apps are able to remote control the device, though it must have data turned on or use the same SIM card.
Now AT&T has just announced a system to block stolen devices, which means voice calls, data connection and text messaging will not work anymore on the smartphone. According to the AT&T reps, the system will be launched on July 10th and it will require manual action from the customer. If your device gets stolen, you will have to contact AT&T customer service and ask them to block your device.
While this feature is not very useful to the user, because all it does is blocking the device, it might reduce the number of stolen devices, if thieves can’t use them anymore.
Currently it hasn’t been made public if the service will be free or have additional fees, though we hope AT&T is not going to charge their customers anything.
Hopefully more carriers will implement this feature in the future, as AT&T is the only carrier able to provide the service to its users. In the meantime we are waiting for better tracking features to help us recover the stolen devices.