Many had to lose a smartphone or face its theft, some users even repeatedly. In such unpleasant moments, there is a desire to find the missing device by analogy with searching content on the network or on a computer. In addition, it is equally important to prevent access to data from a smartphone, this issue is sometimes even more alarming than the loss of the phone itself. There are also frequent cases of the need to search for a device around the house. Apple's solution was the function Find my iPhone, for Android, the Android Device Manager tool was created - it will be discussed further here. The software will be very useful for owners of smartphones when the Android device is lost or stolen, since it is intended to track the location of the device and remotely control from the computer (blocking, sending SMS to the person who has found the device and delete data). On many Android-based devices, the tool is standard, but if it is missing, it is easy to install.
The method of finding a smartphone using Android Device Manager.
What functions are performed by Android Device Manager
A prerequisite for working with this tool from Google, connect your smartphone to the Internet and Google account holder. The service supports several functions:
- Remote tracking device location. The Android Device Manager tool is able to track the device, provided it is connected to the network (Wi-fi enabled or data transfer), and also shows when the smartphone was last online. At the same time, the accuracy of determining the location depends on the network and the quality of GPS operation.
- Activate the call. Thanks to the function, the owner of the device will be able to call himself and during a call (its duration will be five minutes) find a smartphone. This is especially convenient if the phone is lost somewhere in the house or at work, but it doesn’t help much if it is stolen, unless the fact of theft was noticed right away.
- Remote lock. The option allows you to remotely provide your smartphone with a new lock screen with a password, which in some cases will help to complicate the task for attackers.
- Delete data from the device remotely. The functionality of the tool also assumes the ability to reset the smartphone to factory settings, which will ensure the removal of all data from the device's memory. This is an extreme measure, which should be resorted to only when it is known for sure that the phone has been stolen, and there is no hope for its return. Of course, after applying the remote data deletion, the Device Manager will no longer work. The information stored on the SD card is not affected by the procedure; only information from the device’s internal memory is deleted.
Android Device Manager shows only the latest location of the smartphone, storing and viewing history is not intended here, and the information is deleted when you close the application. If the device is turned off or is offline, the location will not be determined.
How to set up Android Device Manager
Working with the application is simple, but in order to be able to find the phone using Android Device Manager, activation of remote access on the device is required. The smartphone owner will need to use his Google account for remote control, but first of all, some settings should be made. The activation procedure is quite simple, so that an inexperienced user will be able to perform the necessary actions:
- Open the "Settings", go to the "Security" section.
- In the "Device Administrators" block, activate the "Unknown sources" option.
- Check the box next to the item “Remote Control Android”.
- We confirm our desire to use this tool by pressing the “Activate” button, after which you can close the settings.
For many smartphone models, the remote access option is already set up, so in this case, manual activation will not be required. Login to the Android Device Manager website to search for the phone is performed by authorizing the Google account with which the device is associated.
Using Device Manager
If the smartphone is gone, you have a chance to find it, using the capabilities of the service. The easiest thing is if the device is located somewhere in the house, in the case of theft, the task is complicated, since the attacker is unlikely to leave the phone on or not to reset the data. In most cases, stolen phones turn off in the first minutes after the theft. The only thing that plays into the hands of the owner of the device in case of theft is time. Perhaps the thief did not have it, and you had time to react quickly, then the function would be quite useful. Do not forget also that a prerequisite in order to find the phone from a computer using Android Device Manager is to connect the device to the network. How to use the service when you lose your Android device:
- Go to the page “Remote control Android”, select the desired device from the list (if it is not one).
- Click the button "Determine location" and wait for the results.
- Before us will appear a map with a marker and information about the latest online connection.
Accuracy of the search will directly depend on the GPS system on the device, so accurate positioning as a result of using Android Device Manager is not guaranteed. If you are sure that the phone is nearby, it is advisable to use the “Call” option. After pressing the button, the smartphone will ring at the maximum volume for five minutes, which will give the opportunity to find the device during this time.
If your smartphone has been lost and found by a decent person, you can help him return the device to its rightful owner. To do this, perform the following actions:
- Click the "Block" button on the same remote control page.
- We enter the lock password, message and phone number.
- When turned on, the information you entered will be displayed on the device display, which will allow the person who has found the device to contact you without viewing user data.
When all hopes of returning the smartphone are lost along with it, it remains to prevent the theft of information from the device (information from personal accounts, passwords and other personal data) by deleting it. This can be done using the “Clear” button on the same remote control page, and then confirm the action. Resetting the settings will delete all information from the phone’s memory, and you should not forget that the information from the SD card is not deleted. As usual, many users store their personal data (photos, videos, etc.) on external media. Unfortunately, when stealing a device, this information will become available to attackers, so storing compromising information on the phone is still not the best solution from the very beginning.
Developers recommend when stealing a device not to rely on their own strength, but to seek help from law enforcement agencies, while in practice this is an additional waste of time, which in such cases is already almost absent, and you can often find a smartphone either instantly or already never. Using the functionality of the service still increases the chances of quickly detecting the device, so the Device Manager is useful for both the loss and theft.