When you lose your phone, you may be in a world of trouble. This is especially the case if it gets stolen and you have not taken the right precautions to protect your data from access, for instance through the use of encryption.
Even if you have only misplaced it, you may run into issues locating your Android phone.
Remote access software can help you out in both cases, either by locating your phone or by erasing all data on it so that a thief cannot access the data and do even more harm.
Up until now, you had to rely on third party apps like Plan B for that. Google recently announced the launch of the Android Device Manager. It is a free built-in service that provides you with basic remote access capabilities, provided that your phone is supported by the feature.
My Samsung Galaxy Note II was updated yesterday, and I'd like to take the opportunity to provide you with a guide that explains how you can set it all up.
The first thing you may want to do is check on your phone whether the feature is available or not.
Now that you have activated the Android Device Manager on your phone or tablet, it is time to head over to the admin interface on the web to make use of it.
You need to sign in to your Google account that is linked to the Android device first, and will receive a maps overlay afterwards. It lists the following information and options:
I suggest you bookmark the web page so that you can access it immediately when the need arises.
Android Device Manager is not offering as much functionality as third party solutions as Android Lost (yet) but it is natively built-in. If all you need is the ability to erase the device's data, to locate it, or ring it, then there is no need to select a third party app for remote access functionality. If you want more, then you need to look elsewhere as it is rather basic.
As Marco pointed out, if you are running Android 4.1 or newer, you need to enable location access under Google Settings > Location > Access location.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.