NYC Police Hand Out Flyers Asking iPhone Owners to Upgrade to iOS 7

Police in New York City are asking "Apple users" to upgrade to iOS 7, and they're going so far as to hand out flyers to encourage you to do so. The effort is part of the NYPD's Operation Identification Program, which is part of the city's larger effort to reduce iPhone-related crime.

Michael Hoffman tweeted over the weekend that police had approached him asking him to upgrade to iOS 7, and he included a photograph of the flyer they were handing out. That tweet:

The flyer is interesting to some of us in the echo chamber because it uses a grey scale version of the Apple's long-discontinued six-colored logo. Much has been made of that and other issues like the use of "Apple users" and some of the other verbiage.


Ignore all that. This isn't a slick brochure produced by marketing professionals—let alone Apple. The real import of the flyer is that the NYPD takes seriously the threat of iPhone thefts in the city and recognizes that threat as significant enough to have its own police officers get the word out to iPhone and iPad owners to upgrade as soon as possible.

The flyer makes the point that iOS 7 is free, and that a stolen iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running the new OS can't be reset without the Apple ID account and password of the owner. That's a theft-deterrent mechanism, which is important to NYC because the city has seen an explosion of Apple device-related thefts.

In December of 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office said that crime in the city would be down if it weren't for those thefts.

"If you just took away the jump in Apple, we'd be down for the year," Mayor Press secretary Marc La Vorgna said at the time.

Hence we have cops on the street encouraging people to update. It's good advice, too. iOS 7 is great, but make sure you disable Control Center on the Lock Screen if you do. There's a bypass in iOS 7 and 7.0.1 that allows unauthorized access to your camera and limited access to Mail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, iCloud, and SMS.