Google rolls out Android Device Manager to help you track a lost phone or three

Daniel Bader

August 7, 2013 5:02 pm

Screenshot_2013-08-07-14-55-44 Screenshot_2013-08-07-14-55-52

Google has rolled out Android Device Manager to help users track, call and erase lost phones. The web-based interface is available via mobile and desktop and gives you the last-known location of your device(s), and the ability to ring or erase them.

Ringing a phone causes it to sound an alarm at full volume for five minutes, which can only be turned off with a power button. Erasing the device is done remotely, but the user must have enabled the ADM service in the phone’s Device Administrator panel.

It’s a simple, important feature set that is available to all Android users running 2.2 Froyo and above.

Source: Google

  • Hardtarget24

    Excitedly went to try just now and am greeted with this big fat error

    “Google Apps Device Policy is only available for Google Apps Business and
    Education customers. Please log in with your Google Apps account to
    access this page.”

    so.. I use Google Apps and obviously this works with Google Apps but not with the free version. What the hell google?

    • rgl168

      It works for me – with my regular Google account. I was able to locate and ring my phone.

    • Hardtarget24

      right, I’m saying it’s not enabled (for no good reason as far as I can tell) for ‘Free’ Google Apps customers

    • deltatux

      I have the free version for my domain name and it works just fine. Check your Google Apps settings to see if it was blocked somehow.

    • Damien Robertson

      Google does a staggered role out, it can take a couple weeks for you to get the update.

    • somedoobsandbeer

      Worked for me and I have no special account.
      You do HAVE to give the device manager privilages upon first logon. If you don’t, it won’t work.

    • DUDS

      WHAT DO YOU MEAN GIVE PERMISSION?
      THE WEBSITE TELLS ME I HAVE NO ACTIVE ANDROID
      MEANWHILE IM ON JELLY BEAN 4.2.1
      EXPLAIN PLS

    • somedoobsandbeer

      Learn how to type.

  • WTangoFoxtrot

    better late than never

    • CC

      So true.

  • Ryan

    Just tried it on my Nexus 7 and it worked. Both the location and ringing.

  • Ceribaen

    Gave it a try, it found my Nexus 10 at home and showed on the map. Didn’t find my phone though – but that’s probably because for whatever reason I have ‘grey’ icons (so not syncing with Google servers) when it’s on the network at work.

    When I dropped it to HSPA+, it just turned on the GPS to my phone to try to get a signal to locate it… so obviously if inside a building where there isn’t a good GPS signal (and no wifi to use)… it won’t work always… though it did manage to eventually track down the signal.

    But if someone else has the phone, they can always turn off location access and it doesn’t appear that you can turn it back on remotely.
    I also can’t seem to find a way to tell it to stop trying to locate my device in the web interface.

  • Matthew

    Interesting, it saw the location of both my One and Nexus 7. It says the notification and ring were sent successfully, but nothing happened. No notifications, and no ringing.

  • michael

    Like Blackberry Protect?! Yes! Ive been waiting for this for so long

  • kevin c

    Tried it on both my phone and tablet. Works nicely.
    Should mention that your device(s) must have a data enabled connection for these features to work.

    • Ryan

      Just curious, but what do you mean by ‘data enabled connection’?

    • kevin c

      If you’re offline, feature doesn’t work.

      If you’re roaming, and your phone is set to disable data while roaming, then there’s no “data enabled connection”.

    • Ryan

      Thanks.

      Just tested it out by turning off my WiFi and it didn’t work. Good to know.

  • ChrisPollard77

    Rang my sim-less galaxy s2, but only rang my nexus 4…… after I pressed the power button. Obviously still some quirks, but a good start!

  • HelloCDN

    Good start! It took some time and one error to locate my device, but it works now and shows the location pretty accurately. Definitely a nice free service to have.

  • Fogman

    Not impressed. For my SG3, I needed to put the data/wifi connection on AND gps…

  • Rabid Rotty

    Absolute fail. I have all the settings correct. Cannot locate my Nexus 7, and will not let me add my nexus 4

    • somedoobsandbeer

      Id-10t error most likely. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and again.

  • E. R

    Not working here. Enabled Android Device Manager then turned on WiFi and GPS and it couldn’t find my device…Location unavailable… Anyone else? Tried with data connection on as well.

  • Eluder

    Working great on my HTC One. Located my device in no time and it’s quite accurate. The ring option worked just fine as well…

  • Arcsvibe

    Worked like a charm with my Nexus 7 (ring and all)

  • blueadept1

    Somebody didn’t think this through. One needs to go into Google Settings on the phone and enable remote device wipe. Well guess what, you can also disable it from that screen with no password entry required. Note to self: When stealing Android phones, disable remote device wipe under Google settings. *facepalm*

  • Scott

    I’ve always used Cerberus for this and find it works awesome. Take a silent picture with the front cam, track with GPS (remotely enable it), send commands silently using the web interface, hide the app from the app drawer. Seems to be a powerful and mature program, been using it for a couple years now and has always worked when I tested it.

  • dracos

    Works fine on my Nexus 4 with GPS disabled and WiFi disabled, but cant find the Nexus 7 with GPS on and WiFi on wonder why,

    • E. R

      Doesn’t work for me. I am in Toronto running 4.3 lol.

  • djino

    I’m at work here in Ottawa, but running the locator, says that my phone is in Hull, Quebec. Huh?

  • Dylan D’Croix

    It wouldn’t recognize my current phone, I have a One X+. It recognizes my old phone a Samsung S2, but I don’t have it under my current devices, so I found it weird that it would only recognize that phone.

  • wallace

    Im thinking they should have an option where you can remotely brick the phone.

  • DUDS

    total bs
    I HAVE GALAXY NEXUS WITH JELLY BEAN 4.2.1
    AND THIS SAYS NOT ACTIVE ANDROID PHONE
    ARE YOU PEOPLE ON DRUGS OR IS GOOGLE ON DRUGS?????

    • FlamesFan89

      Are you under the impression that using all caps makes you more correct or something?

  • naviz

    I have only my Nexus 7 and 10 on there…which never leave the house. Yet my Nexus 4 is nowhere to be found on it…fail.

  • DUDS

    THANKS FOR DELETING MY POSTS
    BUT THIS THING DOES NOT WORK ON GALAXY NEXUS WITH JELLY 4.2.1
    SO DONT POST LIES IT WORKS ON ALL ANDROIDS 2.2 AND ABOVE
    PURE LIES
    AND THE WEBSITE JUST STATES NO ACTIVE ANDROID DEVICE
    NOT SO SMART

  • squirrel_masher

    Sadly I had better luck with Rogers Find-a-phone web page that locates via cell towers sicne the Google App needed an active data connection and GPS.
    Once the app found my cell, then it did make my phone ring though!

  • Chris Johnston

    I was having major troubles – I restarted – still couldn’t find my device – took a stop in the Play store – it found me instantly – not sure why but did the trick