Android Device Manager (teaser 001)

Google has just filled another missing link in its Android software by introducing a feature which allows users to find their misplaced or stolen device on a world map, wipe its contents remotely, send alerts and more. If the announcement sounds a lot like Apple’s Find My iPhone app, you’re right, it does – though you’d be hard-pressed to argue against giving Android users the ability to track down their precious gear.

Called Android Device Manager, in true Google fashion it’s a web-based tool that works much like the Find My iPhone iOS app + iCloud web interface combo from Apple…

According to a post over at the official Android blog, the new Android Device Manager will become available later this month for gadgets running Android 2.2 and above.

Another post explains the feature can locate, ring and wipe a misplaced device.

Have you ever lost your phone in between the couch cushions or left it in a restaurant?

Later this month, you will be able to use a new service called Android Device Manager, which can quickly ring your phone at maximum volume so you can find it (even if it’s been silenced), or locate it on a map, in real time, using Android Device Manager.

Users will need to be signed into their Google Account to use Android Device Manager.

In addition to the web interface, there will also be a downloadable Android app to “allow you to easily find and manage your devices”.

Back in April, major U.S. carriers banded together and joined forces with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create a joint database that would keep track of stolen handsets and those reported as lost.

Because of its visibility, Apple often receives (un)joust criticism for supposedly not doing enough to prevent device thefts, this in spite of being the first major manufacturer to introduce a comprehensive anti-theft service in the form of Find My iPhone.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone has a similar feature, too.

Activation Lock (iPhone screenshot 001)

Lately, the government’s been increasingly calling out Apple, Google and other gadget makers, demanding they implement advanced theft-deterrent measures. The iPhone maker has responded with a new iOS 7 feature called Activation Lock.

Activation Lock renders stolen devices useless by preventing activation on a wireless carrier, even after a thief has disabled the Find My iPhone feature or wiped the phone.

Early impressions appear to be encouraging, with San Francisco’s District Attorney calling Activation Lock a “clear improvement.” Prosecutors, however, remain cautiously optimistic about Activation Lock in iOS 7 being able to curb urban iPhone theft.

For example, San Francisco’s district attorney has called upon security experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to try and bypass the latest security measures implemented on both Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

  • Yunsar

    What a bunch of copying losers

    • Joseph

      “We’re sorry we’re trying to comply and help prevent devices from being stolen!”

      Stop being a jackass and explain to me what you would do to comply with the FCC. It’s a useful feature that is already in different apps, and it was even before Find my iPhone. If anything, Apple copied other companies for this feature.

      • Cesar D

        apple just did this feature more popular than it was.
        in the past no one ever has knowledge about this feature, (just a few) until apple decided that it will be a feature, probabily this feature will never were avialable in android if apple never created first for iPhone.

    • Pitchy

      hello Pot, meet Kettle.

      • Beta382

        More like hello Palm, meet Face.

      • Pitchy

        He didn’t even read the article. Just jumped to some asinine conclusion… which makes him look like the real loser here.

    • sivkai

      Besides your own stupidity, it baffles me how 9 other people agreed with your comment. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

    • Yunsar

      I meant how they copied how it works, not how they copied the service. They copied the main functions such as “ring” and “wipe”

      • Beta382

        Those would fall under the category of “Core Functionality”. Next thing you know people are gonna call Insert_Smartphone_Manufacturer’s Phone app a copy of Apple’s Phone app because it supports looking through contacts and calling.

      • sivkai

        Just disappear. You are an embarrassment to mankind.

    • @dongiuj

      Grow up, whiner.

    • Jack Wong

      To be honest, it is fine to copy idea… but… it is a little late.

      Moreover, most of the Android devices doesn’t go online anyway.

    • BozzyB

      This feature was already available for business use of android with Google Apps for Business.
      Also apps like “cerberus” were available for android way before which provided locating, ringing, wiping the phone or taking pictures with the front camera, activating the micorphone, read caller lists, get current provider info and so on…

  • Gus Me

    This is a good thing, regardless of it “copying” anyone else or not. BTW, you have “unjoust criticism”…