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Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

Retired Staff
Posts: 1,061
Registered: ‎27-08-2013

Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

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by Retired Staff NikT Retired Staff
Message 1 of 14 (12,346 Views)

 

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Have you ever lost a phone? Dropped it down the back of the couch, or found yourself looking for it in a hurry before leaving for work? If so, read on:

 

In August of 2013, Google launched a free service to locate your Android 2.2+ device if lost or misplaced – Android Device Manager.

By navigating to https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager and logging into the same Google (Gmail) account as on the missing phone, you can track the device, set a new password and remotely lock the device, ring it at full volume – even if it’s in silent or vibrate modes - or erase it if it’s gone for good. Google have plans to add more functionality in the future, so getting on top of it now is a great idea. Here’s a quick run-through on how to set it up.

 

  1. You’ll need to make sure you’ve set up a Google account on your phone. Chances are, you’ve already done that, since you’ll need to sign into a Google account to download apps and make the most of any Android phone. If not, either set one up on the phone itself by opening any Google app like Gmail or the Play Store, or head over to http://gmail.com to get started. Make sure you note down the email address and password as you’ll need those in future.
  2. There should be a green icon in the app drawer of your phone labelled Google Settings. Open this app.
  3. Once you’ve opened the app, Android Device Manager should be the last option on the list.Tap it, then tick both checkboxes - Remotely Locate This Device and Allow Remote Lock And Factory Reset.
  4. A security prompt will pop up, hit Activate to complete the setup.
  5. You’re done! Head to https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager and log into your Google account to give it a shot.

It may take a little while for your device to become visible on the site. Mine offers accuracy to ~19 metres with GPS disabled on my phone – the location information is pulled from the mobile network and available WiFi connections. If you decide to test the ‘Ring my device’ feature, be warned, it really does mean full volume. Probably best not to test the ‘Erase’ feature unless you’re really sure your phone has been lost.

 

As always, we recommend being security-conscious and setting your device up with a PIN or password as well. Let us know if this helped you out, and if you have any great tips for finding a misplaced phone!

 

 

Devices team, Vodafone NZ
Trusted Partner
Posts: 991
Registered: ‎26-06-2012

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Trusted Partner Trusted Partner
Message 2 of 14 (12,305 Views)

Now we just need everyone to remember their Gmail password ;-)Smiley Happy

Contributor
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎22-01-2012

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Contributor grahamhansen Contributor
Message 3 of 14 (12,297 Views)
Samsung already have these features. All you have to do is create an account. the option is there during the first boot of your phone. You also have the option for a change of sim alert.
Trusted Partner
Posts: 991
Registered: ‎26-06-2012

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Trusted Partner Trusted Partner
Message 4 of 14 (12,288 Views)

Samsung use Dive for locating and tracking device etc. There are other devices which do not offer this service so this is a good option other brands.

Retired Staff
Posts: 1,061
Registered: ‎27-08-2013

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Retired Staff NikT Retired Staff
Message 5 of 14 (12,278 Views)

grahamhansen wrote:
Samsung already have these features. All you have to do is create an account. the option is there during the first boot of your phone. You also have the option for a change of sim alert.

They sure do, also very handy - and, until Android Device Manager went live, filling a necessary gap. I personally prefer Google's approach, as it's a nicer experience than Samsung's web portal, and of course it works across a much wider range of devices - but both are great solutions.

 

Incidentally, this morning Google added the ability to remotely lock the phone and set a new password. Tested it out, and it even turns the screen off & locks it immediately.

 

Devices team, Vodafone NZ
Honoured Contributor
Posts: 2,603
Registered: ‎13-09-2008

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Honoured Contributor Honoured Contributor
Message 6 of 14 (12,270 Views)

Hope it becomes as powerful as Cerberus one day

Retired Staff
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Registered: ‎27-08-2013

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Retired Staff NikT Retired Staff
Message 7 of 14 (12,266 Views)

TonyZ wrote:

Hope it becomes as powerful as Cerberus one day


That one does particularly well, especially for those willing & able to root their devices - If only one could put a password on the recovery & download modes as well!

 

For me, I think what makes native Google's solution preferred is that there's no overhead to it, and it doesn't need more than a tick to set up on a new device. I micromanage everything that runs on my devices, and this one simply pulls the location et cetera from back-end information that Google is already relaying for other purposes, such as Google Now.

Devices team, Vodafone NZ
Honoured Contributor
Posts: 2,603
Registered: ‎13-09-2008

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Honoured Contributor Honoured Contributor
Message 8 of 14 (12,259 Views)

Yeah having something to protect it from being reflashed would be amazing!

 

Definitely prefer something that's built-in and it's also lighter on the resources Smiley Happy Got to love the Google Play Services and all the updates it brings.

 

Just tried it with GPS on my Nexus 4 and got down to 8m accuracy Smiley Happy

Contributor
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎22-01-2012

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Contributor grahamhansen Contributor
Message 9 of 14 (12,093 Views)
Hi. Sorry to be a nuisance.
If we forget or loose the link, can we get there via our Gmail or Google account?
Have had a quick look. Never use it much. I could not seem to find the relevant site/page in my Google account. No problem with the link.
Any help for an old bugger.
Cheers
Graham
Retired Staff
Posts: 1,061
Registered: ‎27-08-2013

Re: Finding your lost phone – How to use Android Device Manager

by Retired Staff NikT Retired Staff
Message 10 of 14 (12,086 Views)

grahamhansen wrote:
Hi. Sorry to be a nuisance.
If we forget or loose the link, can we get there via our Gmail or Google account?
Have had a quick look. Never use it much. I could not seem to find the relevant site/page in my Google account. No problem with the link.
Any help for an old bugger.
Cheers
Graham

Hi Graham,

 

 The link for the Android Device Manager page? It's at either https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager‎ or http://www.android.com/devicemanager - If you lose the link, just search Google for Android Device Manager and it will be the first result. As long as you're signed in with your Google/Gmail account when using Device Manager, the site will list the details for any Android devices that have been signed into the same account.

 

Hope that helps! There's a bit more information on the service available at Google's support page: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3265955?hl=en

 

 - Nik

Devices team, Vodafone NZ
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