Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Cellphones Google

Google Announces Android Device Manager For Later This Month 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the remote-phonetrol dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced Android Device Manager, a new app coming later this month that helps you find your lost phone or tablet. The service will be available for devices running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above. Details are scarce right now, but Google does say Android Device Manager will let you ring your phone at maximum volume so you can find it, even if it's been silenced. We also know you'll need to be signed into your Google Account to use the service."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Announces Android Device Manager For Later This Month

Comments Filter:
  • Seems to fill the purpose of lot of other apps like Android lost, etc... What I would really like to see is a nice way to migrate from an old phone to a new one.
    • There's a setting 'Backup phone to Google Servers' that restores all your data in another device. It frightened me when I first opened my nexus 7 all my wifi passwords were loaded.
      • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday August 02, 2013 @05:21PM (#44461215)

        You don't think the NSA wants to take the time to brute force your wifi key do you?

      • That will save Google data, but AFAIK it doesn't do data specific to 3rd party apps (at least not when I upgraded last year). I have a very cursory knowledge of Android, but I feel that if apps operate in a sandbox, their state should be saved in a known location and therefore be migratible.
      • by robmv (855035)

        Doesn't work, not because of Google but because applications developers do not use the platform API [android.com] to backup and restore the data

      • Although I haven't yet researched the answer online, I wish Android would provide a little better explanation of just how the backup feature works. I've got an android tablet and an android phone. I've installed different software on each one. I'm unclear on how the backup/restore works with multiple devices. When restoring to a brand new device, does it prompt you as to which old device's backup you want to restore from?

    • by icebike (68054)

      Seems to fill the purpose of lot of other apps like Android lost, etc... What I would really like to see is a nice way to migrate from an old phone to a new one.

      One wonders why Google wanted in this market, when it was so (more than) adequately populated with other apps.

      Its not the first application space totally taken over by Google to the detriment of some of the very same developers Google was clamoring for early on.

      • by farble1670 (803356) on Friday August 02, 2013 @06:28PM (#44461943)

        One wonders why Google wanted in this market, when it was so (more than) adequately populated with other apps.

        1. because "find my device" is something users expect for free, and the free offerings available are either weak or crippled.
        2. because tracking / locating is a sensitive feature, and people trust google more than others
        3. because find my phone is something that people don't know they need until they need it, so if it can be one of the pre-installed google apps, all the better

        • by bigdanmoody (599431) on Friday August 02, 2013 @06:40PM (#44462055)
          Because I know that Google already knows where my phone is?
        • by icebike (68054)

          The Free ones are neither weak or crippled. True, there are additional capabilities in the some of the paid versions.

          Number 2 used to be true. Sadly there is a lot of post Snowden rethinking of this.

          Number 3 is pretty much false, because even air-headed teenagers know to put a find-phone-app on their phone and the best ones are free, and even Plan 9 (Morning after pill of find-phone-apps) is free.

          • Number 3 is pretty much false, because even air-headed teenagers know to put a find-phone-app on their phone and the best ones are free, and even Plan 9 (Morning after pill of find-phone-apps) is free.

            first, it's plan B, and second, plan B only works on android 2 because it uses a security exploit.

  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday August 02, 2013 @04:57PM (#44460987)

    Finnally! Google copies Find My iPhone.

    • Samsung has a similar application: http://findmymobile.samsung.com/login.do [samsung.com], it's being around for a while now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054)

      Except that this feature has been in available for Android from a couple dozen different sources [google.com] for years.

      Now who would you rather trust? Joe Small Company, hosting overseas, or Google or Apple in bed with the NSA?

      • That's a false dichotomy, since even if you choose Joe Small Company, you still have to trust the manufacturer of your device to have not configured the OS to report back information that they then hand over to the NSA. Really, this is more of a Hobson's Choice: you can have any smartphone you want, so long as you pick one that reports back to the NSA. Choosing to trust Joe Small Company in addition to the Googles, Apples, Samsungs and Microsofts of the world is just increasing the surface area for attack a

        • by adolf (21054)

          I use services from an overseas Joe Small Company (androidlost) for my phone-finding.

          And I don't care if the NSA (et al) can find my phone through that mechanism, because frankly I'm under the assumption that if the NSA wants to know where my phone is or has been, they've got other methods for finding that data.

          Even I had totally unlocked, unbreakable, and open baseband and firmware (ha! right), with zero closed-source software installed at all, there is still telemetry available from the providers themselv

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        I already have a Google OS on my phone, and a Google Mail account specifically tied to just that phone. I'd rather trust Google (and the NSA) than give info to yet another third party (and the NSA).

        I see no downside to trusting Google in this situation, and more downside to trusting a third party.

      • Now who would you rather trust? Joe Small Company, hosting overseas, or Google or Apple in bed with the NSA?

        The blue chip company. Every time. Any company can be spied on by local and foreign spy outfits. But the small company hosting overseas might also be selling your emails to spammers and your credit card number to fraudsters.

  • This just goes to show why Android fragmentation is largely a non-issue, especially for users. Most of the new features are delivered as apps which are compatible with all versions going way back.

    • Or to put it another way, fragmentation is an especially big problem for developers. Users just have to put up with an inferior platform. Developers have huge amount of hassle.

      e.g. BBC iPlayer requires 3 times as many developers of the Android version of the app as the iPhone requires. And that for an experience that is still significantly worse.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-on-Android-Devices-Update [bbc.co.uk]

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        so it has 3 developers?

        if they need 6 developers for the android version they're doing something wrong or are counting graphics guys twice or thrice or some shit like that or are counting test folks who test it once a month for release as devs.

        it's also possible they're just getting fleeced.

        if they need 9 developers they're really getting fleeced and if they need 12 developers I got a bridge to sell to bbc.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        So what you're saying is the BBC employed poor developers and augmented them with more poor developers? Maybe they've got a poor person running the project.

        Anyone who thinks fragmentation is a problem for Android is not an Android developer, or simply has no idea of the many tools that Google has to offer those who actually NEED to target the latest platform, such as embedded APIs to make apps forward compatible with features that don't exist on a specific version of Android.

        Really I have yet to see any rea

        • So what you're saying is the BBC employed poor developers and augmented them with more poor developers?

          No that's the excuse you're trying to make, based on nothing.

          The BBCs reason is very specifically the fragmentation of the Android platform. Both OS and devices.
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20754182 [bbc.co.uk]

          Anyone who thinks fragmentation is a problem for Android is not an Android developer

          The BBC developers do. As do various others that we can confirm have real apps in development. There's no evidence that the claim that there's no fragmentation problem comes from anyone who actually develops. Just fanboys.

  • I hope they require some hard proof of identity to use this service (more than just "signed into your Google Account"). It allows you to:

    • - ring the phone even if it's silent
    • - track its position using GPS
    • - wipe the data

    Not a tool I'd want falling into the wrong hands.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why? Find my iPhone only requires that you be "signed into your iCloud account".

    • by Anonymous Coward
      NSA agents walking into your house: "Oh where is he hiding? Is he under the bed? No. Is he in the closet? No. Johnson, ring that one up!"
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      I hope they require some hard proof of identity to use this service (more than just "signed into your Google Account"). It allows you to:

      • - ring the phone even if it's silent
      • - track its position using GPS
      • - wipe the data

      Not a tool I'd want falling into the wrong hands.

      What more could they require that's safer? If someone has your Google account password and can sign into your Google account, they can probably already log on to your online banking and credit card accounts, so it's not like asking for a Credit Card number or even a SSN is any form of additional protection.

      • If someone has your Google account password and can sign into your Google account, they can probably already log on to your online banking and credit card accounts

        Really? How so? I can't think of any way that my banking accounts are linked to my Google account.

        it's not like asking for a Credit Card number or even a SSN is any form of additional protection

        I was thinking more of a personal security question with a 10 attempt limit. Asking for a SSN seems a little extreme.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          If someone has your Google account password and can sign into your Google account, they can probably already log on to your online banking and credit card accounts

          Really? How so? I can't think of any way that my banking accounts are linked to my Google account.

          Many people link their online accounts to their email accounts, and many banks still use simple security questions for emailed password resets that anyone with access to your email account can probably answer. "What year did you graduate high school" - search for classmates.com emails. "What's your mother's maiden name", search for emails from your grandparents on your mom's side. "What's your youngest/oldest sibling", search for emails from mom about Christmas, emails mentioning siblings, etc.

          it's not like asking for a Credit Card number or even a SSN is any form of additional protection

          I was thinkin

          • Many people

            Most people

            I was under the assumption that Slashdot readers were more intelligent and cautious than "many/most people".

            • by hawguy (1600213)

              Many people

              Most people

              I was under the assumption that Slashdot readers were more intelligent and cautious than "many/most people".

              You're new here aren't you?

        • Really? How so? I can't think of any way that my banking accounts are linked to my Google account.

          there's plenty of data that can be phished from years of archived email. just knowing you have an account at blah blah credit union gets someone a long way. not to mention knowing your middle name, birthday, mother's maiden name, SSN, etc., which all could typically be gotten from your email.

      • What more could they require that's safer?

        Give you a choice if you want to allow your device to be controlled with strings from a google website remotely.

        If someone has your Google account password and can sign into your Google account, they can probably already log on to your online banking and credit card accounts,

        I hope most people have more sense than this.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          What more could they require that's safer?

          Give you a choice if you want to allow your device to be controlled with strings from a google website remotely.

          If you don't want to use it, why would you download the app?

          If you don't want to use the Google Ecosystem at all, you don't even have to link your phone to a Google account. You could install a CyanogenMod ROM for even greater independence from Google.

          If someone has your Google account password and can sign into your Google account, they can probably already log on to your online banking and credit card accounts,

          I hope most people have more sense than this.

          More sense than what? What do you do when your bank uses your email address for password recovery that's "protected" by a few simple questions that a public records search (or digging through your email) can answer

        • Give you a choice if you want to allow your device to be controlled with strings from a google website remotely.

          did you hear that they are forcing the app to be installed and activated on your android device? no? sheesh.

    • What else would you ask for? You can send a validation SMS, and most Android users use gmail, so a token via email is useless too.

  • by bernywork (57298) <bstapleton.gmail@com> on Friday August 02, 2013 @05:27PM (#44461277) Journal

    I want remote brick, if I lose my phone, I want it being completely useless to the next person, no firmware flash, no nothing; a paper weight. I don't want it being sold off for a tenner and sent to another country that doesn't subscribe to the block list.... Actually, you know what? I want it catch fire, I want it to be an incinerated paper weight!

  • How can I sign into my Google account if I'm out and about and lose my phone when the Google two-factor authentication SMS message that would let me sign in on someone else's phone or computer is going to be sent to my phone.

    • by Villain (19081)

      Either set up a backup number for sending codes to that is your significant other's or a someone else you trust, or print out backup codes and keep them somewhere safe.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        Either set up a backup number for sending codes to that is your significant other's or a someone else you trust, or print out backup codes and keep them somewhere safe.

        So when I'm traveling and my phone is stolen, and I don't have my trusted friend with me or the backup codes that are in my stolen wallet, then I have no way to locate my phone?

        • by Villain (19081)

          I guess you'll just have to use one of the many other apps that have been around for years that already do this without needing to be signed into your google account.

  • Another forced G+ plot to me.

  • I was hoping for an actual management system. So you can you know, 'manage' your portable devices from a central point.

    Being able to make them scream when they are lost.. .*yawn*

  • I've been needing this for clients and their employees for far too long!
  • ...because avast! [avast.com] has been offering this for a while now. Plus, I'm not sure I want allow more Google access into my life.

    • If you're already using Android,it's unlikely thay you're giving access to more private information by using this.

  • by rh2600 (530311) on Friday August 02, 2013 @07:06PM (#44462279) Homepage
    It's called Google Device Policy, but it's only been available for Google Apps for Business users

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.enterprise.dmagent&hl=en [google.com]

    It's great to have a general user option soon, but for those of you with business needs, the option is already there ;-)
  • Do any of the alternatives that people know of work on a wifi-only tablet?

    "Find My iPhone" is really useful for tracking down the children's iPods if they're just lost in the house (or garden).

    Sometimes a tablet goes missing and it would be helpful to be able to make it ping in a similar way.

  • With a hotmail account and my AU$160 Nokia Lumia 520 you get all the same features. Ring, Lock, Erase and you get to see it on a map too. Pretty cool for a budget smartphone.
  • Considering this is an optional app that you have to download (rather than being baked into an Android release), what does it offer that loads of similar free apps on the Google Play store have offered for years now (OK, apart from the fact that it's an app from Google of course)?

    I'd have been more impressed if this had come with the Android 4.3 release to be honest and might actually be one of the very few pre-installed Android apps that could be justify being uninstallable.

    • Considering this is an optional app that you have to download (rather than being baked into an Android release), what does it offer that loads of similar free apps on the Google Play store have offered for years now (OK, apart from the fact that it's an app from Google of course)?

      I'd have been more impressed if this had come with the Android 4.3 release to be honest and might actually be one of the very few pre-installed Android apps that could be justify being uninstallable.

      It doesn't display ads or constantly try to get you to update to the "premium" version. There is also no limit to the number of devices you can track (most free services limit the number of devices that can be tracked under one account).

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

Working...