Google has started to roll out Android Device Manager, an app and a web service that allows users to locate, ring or wipe their lost or stolen Android devices. Google’s new app is similar to Apple’s Find my iPhone service, and it might seem strange to many as what took Google so long to launch such a useful and lifesaver service. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at how to enable this option on your phone and how to use Android Device Manager’s web interface to locate your lost or stolen Android device.
How to Enable Android Device Manager on your Phone
By default, Android Device Manager’s location service is already activated (in my case) which means you don’t need to perform any additional action to enable this service. But still, it’s better to check this option.
Go to Google Settings from your device’s apps menu and tap on Android Device Manager. From here, you’ll see that “Remotely locate this device” option is enabled by default, if not, then enable it in your device. This option will help you to remotely locate your device and find its approximate location on Google Maps. Google says that for devices running on 4.1 or above, location access must also be enabled. To turn it on, go to Google Settings > Location > Access location.
Another option that you’ll see is the “Allow remote factory reset.” If this option is enabled, then you can use the Android Device Manager’s web interface to erase your entire device so that no one can access your personal data.
How to Use Android Device Manager
Now that you’ve configured the app on your phone, it’s time to try out the Android Device Manager’s (also known as ADM) web interface. To use this service, go to https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager and then sign-in with your Google account.
If you have more than one device associated with your Google account, then select your device from the arrow next to the device name. To rename the device, click on the pen icon, and if ADM is not able to locate your phone, then click on the refresh type button next to the pen icon.
When your device is located, it is displayed on the map by a blue circle. You’ll also be able to know when the device is registered, when the device was last located at, last used at, with the complete location (address) of your device.
Now that the device is located, you can perform two actions:
- Ring: Ring your device at full volume for 5 minutes, even if it is silent or on vibrate mode.
- Erase device: This option performs a factory reset on your device which will delete all of your data, provided that you have enabled “Allow remote factory reset” option on your Android device.
Note that to locate your device, there needs to be an active mobile data or Wi-Fi connection, and without it, you won’t be able to track or locate your Android phone or tablet. Also Android Device Manager won’t work if your device is powered off.
Overall it can be said that this is a really nice feature introduced by Google. Now that this feature is enabled in your device, you won’t need to use any third-party app to locate or track your lost/stolen Android device. Just ensure that you have enabled location tracking on your Android device so that if in case you lost your phone/tablet, you can track its location.
Since this service is slowly being rolled out, it may take some time for it to be enabled on your device. Just wait for a few days for this exciting new lifesaver feature.