Apple has ‘Find my iPhone‘, Microsoft has a ‘Find my phone‘ service and even the fledgling BlackBerry 10 OS has ‘BlackBerry Protect‘, all of which are designed to help you protect your phone once it has left your hands. Android is the one major operating system that has lagged behind on this front and now the company from Mountain View California is rectifying it. Android Device Manager is a combination a new website and accompanying app that will be available to every Android device running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above which is all but 1.3% of the total Android ecosystem right now.
While the full details of the features available have not yet been made available by Google we do know some of what will be part of the service. Once signed into your Google account you will be able to geolocate your device and display its position on a map. You can also trigger your phone to ring at maximum volume if you’ve misplaced it inside your house and need some help locating it again. As a last resort you can even remotely security wipe all of your personal data from the device.
Adrian Ludwig, one of Google’s Android Security Engineers, posted some security tips for Android users on the company’s blog detailing the 3 steps that users can take to protect themselves and their devices.
- Lock your device screen. Whether you’re on a phone or a tablet, it’s easy to set up a screen lock. This is important to do in case your device gets left in the back of a car, or you’re worried about someone picking up your phone and scrolling through your stuff. You can lock your device with a pin, password, pattern (or even your face!) by going to Settings > Personal > Security > Screen Lock.
- Protect your phone from suspicious apps. We automatically scan Google Play to block and remove harmful apps. That makes Google Play the safest place to get Android apps. But Google Play can also help protect you even for apps you get elsewhere, like the web or a third-party app store. The first time you start to install an app from an unknown source, a message will pop up asking if you’d like Google to scan the file to make sure it’s not harmful. Tap “OK” to let Google help protect you from harmful apps.
- Locate, ring and wipe a misplaced device. Using Android Device Manager software.