Apple was recently awarded a patent that could make it even tougher for iPhone or iPad thieves to make a clean getaway.
The iPhone maker has been awarded a new patent that describes a new kind of tracking feature, The Independent reports, that allows Apple to track the handset even when it’s turned off.
While Apple’s iOS devices already have a tracking feature (Find My iPhone) built-in, that can be defeated by a crook simply turning the device off. The new patent would allow tracking, even when the devices appear to be turned off.
Under the patent, when a user attempts to power down a device, they would be required to enter a security code, similar to the passcode required to unlock a device. If the code is entered incorrectly, the iOS device would appear to shut down, but would continue to transmit its location and other data.
Users could also activate the camera and take photos, hopefully of the crook who stole it.
The patent was filed in April 2014, and was awarded to the company on January 29th. Who knows if the feature will ever make it into an upcoming iOS release, but it’s nice to know Apple is still coming up with ways to keep our devices safe.