May 28 2017
Losing a smartphone can cause great inconvenience not just emotionally but also financially. The best thing you can do to protect your smartphone from losing or being stolen is to use an anti-theft tool like Android Device Manager.
What is Android Device Manager? Google’s Android Device Manager is an excellent native tool for locating and remotely wiping a lost or stolen device. It uses GPS technology to easily locate, ring, and wipe data in your Android device from the web. It also gives you the ability to change your password and erase entire data from your phone. Usually, these features are enabled by default upon installation through Google Play Store, but if not, you can easily enable it via Google settings > Security on your device.
Enabling Android Device Manager To Locate Your Device:
Android Device Manager requires two things to locate your phone:
Enable remote location – you can find it in Google Settings > Android Device Manager > Remotely Locate This Device (ensure you tick the box)
Enable Device Location Access – you will find it in Google Settings > Location.
Android Device Manager can locate your device only if these settings are enabled. It supports mobiles and tablets with multiple user accounts. But if you are using a tablet device, it only allows the device owner to turn the app features on or off in case of multiple accounts.
Accessing Android Device Manager: Android Device Manager can either be accessed through an Android Device Manager app on another Android device or by visiting Android Device Manager website.
Once you launch the app or website and log in to your account, Android Device Manager will make an attempt to locate your lost or stolen device. If the device and location are enabled and connected to a signal, a map will be displayed to track the current location of your missing device. It will then present three options: ring, lock or remotely wipe the device. In case the device or location settings are not on, and the signal isn't available, Android Device Manager will track and report the location when the device gets online.
Ring Your Device: If the map locates your device in proximity, then click on ring button. Your device will ring automatically for 5 minutes even if it's on silent mode.
Lock Your Device: If your device is located in an unknown location, and you want to lock it, then click the lock button. A pop-up screen will appear where you can enter a new password and confirm it. You can also add an optional message and a phone number which be displayed on the lock screen to enable whoever finds the device to call you on that number. Your device is now locked. However, if your click the lock button and the device is switched off, the changes will be applied once the device turns online.
Remote Wipe Your Device: The erase button allows you to remotely wipe your device. It is similar to performing a factory reset. Android Device Manager erases photos, videos, apps, settings and music stored only in the internal memory of your device will be erased on clicking the erase button. It doesn't erase data from microSD card. Also, on clicking erase option, if your device is off, the data will be erased when it's back on.
Android Device Manager is the best way to track and manage your missing or stolen device. Apart from using Android Device Manager, it's always advisable to have strong passwords or pattern locks. Also, make sure you use fingerprint lock available in a lot of newer smartphones.
You can also try other anti-theft applications like Android Lost or take advantage of Android apps development services to develop a custom Android application of your own. If you have any other tips for locating a lost or stolen device, let us know in the comments below.