Google introduced the new Android Device Manager web service back in August. It allows you to run commands, such as locating your phone or to erase all data on it. This can be useful to find your phone if you have misplaced it, or to make sure that all data on the phone is deleted if you suspect or know that it has been stolen.
The feature needs to be enabled on the Android device before it becomes available. I have posted instructions on how to do so back in August. You need to open the Settings of your device, select Security, and there Device administrators to do so.
Google has rolled out a new feature recently that adds another remote control feature to the Android Device Manager. Besides locating the device and erasing data on it, it is now possible to lock it instead.
The process won't just lock the phone or tablet running Android, but also change the lock screen password as well. The Device Manager overrides any form of protection that you have set on the device, which can be useful if you suspect that the person who has it now knows the original unlock code.
Android Device Manager Lock feature
To use the new locking feature, visit the Android Device Manager service website after you have enabled it on your device.
Here you see a list of all options available at your disposal. The website will check for your phone's location automatically, but that may not work depending on whether you have enabled location-based settings on the device or not.
The option to lock the phone has been prominently placed here next to the ring and erase features. When you select the lock option you are asked to enter a new password that will be used to lock the device. Note that this only works if the phone or tablet are connected to the Internet. If it is not, it will be locked as soon as it is connected again.
The request will lock the device automatically so that it cannot be used anymore unless the right code is entered to unlock it.
The option to lock the device comes in handy if you do not know if you have misplaced your device or if it has been stolen. While you could erase all data to make sure it does not fall into the wrong hands, it is not the best option if you find your phone or tablet again.
Locking makes sure that third parties cannot access your data while you can if you find it again.