Android Device Manager

The settings on a few phones have turned up an entry for the new Android Device Manager — have you checked yours?

Update: TJ, a reader and admitted Android nerd shot me the apk file. You can download it here. The normal concerns of security and such apply, of course. 

It looks like the first stage of the new Android Device Manager is pushing out to a few people, but the service is not yet live. Google told us their new "find my phone" service would be hitting all Android devices running Android 2.2 or higher sometime this month, and while there's nothing to be found on the web side, the device administrator is showing up slowly.

Oddly enough, there doesn't appear to be an associated apk file or a new version of Google Play services attached, and right now nobody is really sure where to find the details. The good news — and this is really good news — is that the reports are coming from everywhere, not just the U.S. Look for Android Device Manager to be a world-wide roll out.

You'll surely want to check and see if you're one of the chosen few, so here's how you can do that. Grab your phone, and open the settings. Under the Security section, look for the Device administrators section. Tap it, and see what's there. We're not seeing it yet on any devices in the office, but Reddit is full of folks with the new settings. If you see it, too, be sure to shout out in the comments.

Source: Reddit


Reader comments

Android Device Manager beginning to push to phones


This is just as creepy as when Google pushed that Google Settings app out to everyone without telling or asking you.

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If you are not committing crimes, why should you worry so much? Also, Google have the option for us to Opt out. Check in the settings of the app.

For me, I don't care much about spying. While I am in the "ethnic minority" group, I have never ever had an issue with profiling in Canada or when I am travelling in USA.

Well, I don't have a problem with a google service, since I've already drunk deeply from the Google Koolaid fountain and at least they have a clear privacy policy and opt out controls.

OTOH, is's apologists such as yourself that got us in this NSA mess in the first place. No disrespect intended, simply pointing out that every time someone takes your viewpoint, the rest of us are painted guilty by implication.

Maybe they just don't get enough attention from real life people. Maybe he switches up his searches to "justin bieber deep voice" sometimes just to show the people he likes to think are watching him just how witty and imaginative he is. You never know...

I know... we need a balance in privacy, security and services. It is difficult for companies and govt to provide services without spying. For example, I don't want to die because some dumb guy wants to kill me.... :(

Anyway, I agree with you too. It is a fine like I guess.

Also, Google have the option for us to Opt out. Check in the settings of the app.

Well, for me it was a OPT-IN.
I have it on my device but the by default, it is not activated.

Haha you guys are funny! Btw, asking if he was running stock was not such a smart question imo since I don't know of any custom ROMs with 4.3 yet...

Heh. But my wife doesn't have it on her HTC One. Probably because I have the sexy black One.

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You can't do anything with it yet, until Google turns up the service. They've got a few bazillion phones to push this to before that happens.

First build a townhall and barracks. Then train soldiers and attack your enemies. Collect gold and raise more soldiers.

And what security is wrapped around this? What is needed to be able to wipe someone's phone?

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Not only username and password, but I suspect you'll have to enable device administrators on Android itself. With the Google account password stuff, you could use two factor authentication and so on. Of course if someone guesses or gets your Google password, I doubt they'd want to wipe your phone... kind of a dead giveaway. They'd get more going through your emails for usernames and passwords to sites like Paypal, banks, etc. Even maybe find personal identification items such as ssn etc, depending on what you keep on your email.

Meh looked at the screenshot closest, didn't realize what screen it was on. So yeah, device administrators :P

I assume if we are rooted and running a custom rom the update won't be pushed to us correct?

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I also have a Nexus 4 on T-M. Device Administrator has something Lookout checked. I presume I'm not on Google's VIP list. What I don't understand is if the phone is missing or lost, how do I use it? From another phone? From my chromebook?

Just checked my Nexus 7 and it's there alright! Oddly enough it isn't on my Nexus 4 though but it is on my Mum's Xperia Miro!

That's not what the post is referring to. Airdroid is a different app that you gave administrator rights to.

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I have it already on my Droid Razr Maxx running 4.1.2. When I click on it, it has three items: Email, Motorola Device Policy, and Lookout. Email says "enables server-specified security policies" and it is checked. Motorola Device Policy says "This application provides the capabilities to manage and secure your device remotely." and un-checked. Lookout(probably because I have the pro-version installed) says "Better Missing Device functionality" and is checked.

No you don't. If you did you would have a fourth item that says Android Device Administrator. The three you lost already were there...

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Nothing on my devices, SE Xperia Arc S, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 2 and Nexus 7... Manila, PH

I got it, GS4 on VZW. So, are we just now waiting for the corresponding app and web page login for it, I assume?

Verizon is promising to push this out the 3rd week of November to it's customers.. They said they have to add a little Bloatware to it for Branding.

T Mobile is going to start sending it to phone today and it should finish downloading sometime in September

Nope, I think Google may have a code to prevent the app being deleted during a factory reset. If not, I hope they add that soon.

I've been using Seek Droid Pro over year now but I welcome Google's own implantation. How ever I'd like to recommend that when you enable device administrator for the first time on future Android versions that it ask you to set up a password similar to your unlock screen to control enabling/disabling of all the apps with administrator access.(1 password/pattern/pin for all of them) That way for people who don't lock there phone but still want thing's secure we have a way to keep thief from simply disabling device administrators and removing/disabling the app.

I have it on my GS4. For me, though, it wasn't that silent thanks to Sophos Mobile Security with App protection installed. Woke up this morning to an alert that the Google Play apk attempted to silently update (Google Play is one of my protected Apps) and add a new Device Administrator into the settings (Settings is also another default protected app). I had to manually allow it to be added. My wife has Sophos as well, but doesn't use App protection. On hers, she just has an alert that Google Play was scanned and was found to be clean after an update. So, it would seam that this update was a silent update of the Google Play app.

Thanks for that info, that's actually very interesting, so is your Google play app version higher than mine? Mine is 4.2.9

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In looking back at the log from Sophos, it was Google Play Services that updated. The version is 3.2.25(761454-30)

Nexus 4 East cost US. Got it. Don't know when and how but I've just checked settings and it's there.

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I have it on my Xperia ZL. The million dollar question now is, how do you access the service online, or is it not up yet?

I have it in device managers. But so there is no app yet to use those features? Or whatever?

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just saw in on my old Galaxy Nexus...

but what can I do with it? doesn't seem to be any options for me to locate my phone?

Bye device administrators it showss android device manager and cheked it what should i do now ?

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I still don't have it yet here in the States. For a staggered rollout, it seems to have covered a bunch of people so far in the first day though. I'm guessing it is rolling out based on the version your phone is running, as there seems to be a lot of S4s and HTC Ones and nexus devices running the newer versions that have reported getting it. I'm running AT&Ts 4.1.1 on an Atrix HD that still hasn't gotten it yet either. I guess patience is the name of the game...

I have a Nexus 4... though maybe it's because I downgraded back to 4.2.2 (many apps are still broken a bit. I'm waiting for developers to get a better hang of 4.3 before going back).

Verizon Galaxy Nexus, everything stock, has it...

but my Verizon Galaxy Note 2 does not.

(not that I would know what to do with it even if it was updated)

Factory unlocked Galaxy Note II running stock firmware in Newfoundland, Canada.

It made it here despite the high humidity. Does anyone else's feel sticky? Or clammy? Is it just me?

It's probably just me...

I have it! I didn't even know it was available under the security settings! I'm using Galaxy grand Stock rom.. From bangalore india :-)

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Thanks for the tip Jerry! Got it on both my N4 and N7 over here in Pakistan overnight apparently. So do I enable the setting now, or wait?

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I've got the N4 with 4.3 in the UK and I don't have it yet, though I am usually among the last people to get updates for some reason.

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What creeps me out is the permission "Erase all data".

The apk is installed already, but I'm still reluctant about activating it in Device administrators...


That permission is in case your phone is lost or stolen and you want to remote wipe the naughty pictures you've got on it. ;-)

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HTC ONE on AT&T here... I downloaded and ran the apk in the post above... Looked under security and then clicked on Android Device Manager. As soon as I clicked on that my phone immediately said software update 245.6MB.. I'll let everyone know what happens when the update is complete.

Got it on my Moto Atrix HD. There's two options, one for Motorola's service, and then the new Android wipe.

Got it on my Samsung Galaxy S DUOS (GT-S7562) with Android 4.0.4 here in Switzerland.

NB: Standard setting is deactivated. So it is an (preferable) OPT-IN approach.

Finally got it for my Nexus 10 and GS2. The fastest way to get it by OTA is clearing data of Google Play Store and reboot your device. Should I activate or not?

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Finally got it for my Nexus 10 and GS2. The fastest way to get it by OTA is clearing data of Google Play Store and reboot your device. Should I activate or not?

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This just showed up on my AT&T Galaxy S3 today. Guess we just have to wait now till the official rollout from Google to get it up and running.

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So, I have the android device manager and I have activated the service under settings. Now, how do I search for the phone via the web?? Is there any supporting link where I can log in to locate the phone??

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How to we get to the web services aspect of this?

and am I the only one who still hasn't turned it on because of that "Erase all data" permission? Kinda scary.

This rolled-out to my Nexus 10, back when the 4.3 update came across the wire, and I noticed it on my SGS2 right-about the same time (maybe as long ago as two weeks). I didn't think much about it, except that it *is* nice to be able to see that the phone got left in the car, again, while I'm sitting at the computer.

I have this on my samsung galaxy note. stock. I have had it for months now. odd that I am hearing that it is just coming out now.