Android Device Manager

The second component of the Android Device Manager looks like it's slowly going live

We saw the Android Device Manager, Google's find (and wipe) my phone utility, starting to push out it's phone component over the weekend, and today the web interface is live for some folks. It's the second piece of the puzzle you'll need to remotely manage your lost or stolen Android, and something Google has let third-parties handle until now.

The web address is https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager?u=0, and if available for your account will require you to be signed into Google on a modern web browser. I'm lucky enough to have everything working with mine, but reports from the rest of the AC staff range from partial completeness to nothing yet.

With the new service, you can locate your phone or tablet on a map, send a command to ring the ringer at full volume for five minutes (don't try this with the HTC One if dogs or small children are around), send a notification to the device to initiate setup, and once properly set-up wipe all your personal data off the missing device. 

We're going to play with this for a bit, and I'll even sacrifice my Plague, Inc. data to test the remote wipe feature. In the meantime, see a few screenshots after the break. Be sure to holler if you're seeing the Android Device Manager live on your Google account.

 

Reader comments

Android Device Manager web page going live for some users

207 Comments

I want to point out the link to Android device manager in play store if you dont want to type the path.

so its on play.Google.com -->click wrench icon on top right-->Android Device Manager

Live here as well, but the map is a bit off by more then the 13 meters it states. Says my phone is about 30+ miles from where I'm currently at.

Also tried the Ring phone feature, nothing came through on the phone. Hopefully things will smooth out in the next few days.

I still get the error saying its for Google Apps for Business and Education customers.

I have the free Google Apps for my domain. Is yours the free one?

Same here! It doesn't work for me too! And it's sad cuz I expected to atleast be at par with free Gmail users, if not the others!

I also get the notice that only paying Google Apps customers can use this.

Works fine if I log out and use my old gmail account though. Just not ideal.

Its live on my account, but it says no active devices even though I have checked and installed the admin for it. Any ideas anyone?

Make sure you have adblock off, because the site uses several things that will trip most javascript security plugins.

It worked for me only after I allowed these to run.

It even "rang" my Tablet and phone. Works like a champ.

The wipe device is a one-click confirm, and I predict a LOT of evil people nuking other people's phones with this if they find a password, or a logged in computer somewhere.

If you haven't used two factor authentication THIS is the time to start.

I was excited for this feature until I read your post. Now I'm tempted to turn it off. At least disable the remote wipe feature.

Make sure you have adblock off, because the site uses several things that will trip most javascript security plugins................

Dear I had Samsung Galaxy Ace but not able to run Device manager .

Works for me but I don't really get it. What is the point of having a service that 99.9% of all Android users will never know about?

Will Google advertise this service on all their web pages and in the Play Store on the devices?

If Google doesn't find a way to MONETIZE it it will be shuttered.

I'd rather they ding my account a dollar a year than decide somewhere down the line to kill it off.

With 750 million android devices, a dollar a year would keep a lot of wolves from google's door step.

I don't know that they'll feel the need to monetize this separately.

I imagine it'll just be regarded as a value-added benefit of Android -- especially since iOS already has a competing feature as stock.

Moreover, it must cost them next to nothing to maintain. They already have Google Maps to handle the web end, already have the GPS at the remote end, and already have your Google account to seamlessly integrate the two. The only thing that was missing was the ADM software installed on the remote side -- short of bug fixes, there's not a whole lot they need to add to that after the initial development since it's only a failsafe app, not something people are going to be using on a regular basis.

Im guessing it will spread pretty quick. When the news first broke, I told about 10 people that I know about it. Today, someone came up to me whom I didn't tell and told me about it.

Same here. No issue that I see (yet) with competing for administrative duties with my corporate account that requires the same wipe permissions. I don't suppose their should be, but stranger has happened before.

Strange. It's there for my HTC One (and works), lists my old NS4G (not currently on a cell network), but my OG Nexus 7 doesn't appear. Is this only for cellular devices, not Wifi?

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For me, it's seeing my tablet, but not my phone (Galaxy S3 running CM 10.1), so it's not a tablet/phone thing.

my N10 is working too. you have to have the latest play service for the device to show up. maybe your other device is not updated

For me it showed all my devices but only my Nexus 4 was being located so I just deactivated and reactivated on my Nexus 10 and now it works perfectly. Extremely creepy but works great.

Wow.. I'm from the UK and its not working for me... I thought it was something to do with what country you're in.

Yay. I've been wanting something like this. I had third party apps but it's nice to not have to put up with ads or pay or jump through any other hoops for it. It seems to work pretty well. I can't say 100% because I'm not wiping my phone just to test.

Ah-ha! The "app" is "Google Settings" and Android Device Manager will show up as the last item in the list (at least it does for me, on my Note 2).

This functionality does not appear to be present on my Note 10.1 (which is where I was looking when originally posted here).

Wooo. Clicked the link, allowed it. Then went to Settings>Security>Device Administrators and clicked on Android Device Manager. I have a Galaxy S2.

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Thanks Si1versmith; I didn't even have to take the time to figure this out by the time I read the article and comments since you posted it.

Funny, I didn't realize "Where's my Droid" showed up in this spot either... oh well, that's one app I'm ditching. :)

working for me. and i don't even know if the options are on my phone yet. but since the web page is working, i guess it's there somewhere

Excellent to see this up and running for my account. I was thinking about using Lookout, which isn't a bad app by any means, but I'd rather use something that's just built in instead of 3rd party. Google keeps on removing my need for 3rd party apps for core functionality. I just need a Google smart watch now.

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How do you remotely lock the device? Under the Google Settings app -> Adobe Device Manager, the check box for remote wipe also says remote lock. I havent clicked on the remote wipe button not knowing if there is a confirmation screen or not and dont want to wipe my phone on accident.

I'm curious about this as well. When you allow Android Device Manager to be device administrator, it says Google Play Services will be able to change the screen-unlock password as well as control how and when the screen locks. The only options I see in the ADM are ring and erase.

Anyone have any insight on this?

It is active for me... I activated the remote wipe, but for some reason the option is still greyed out on the web site? Maybe it will work at some point.

Live for me on Droid DNA running CM 10.1

Curious though, will the wipe function work with a non-stock recovery?

Device Manager is active on both my Nexus 7 2013 and my Epic 4G Touch. The website works well too. The ring is pretty much instant

Maybe I looked at the wrong app, but in the Play Store it reads:
"This is a free trial for one week, then you can buy a lifetime license for a small price from within the application".

I'd like to the store page, but apparently that means you're spamming in the comments...

You could argue this is better because it's one less company you're sharing you're information with, and it's built-in (finally).

Anyone using Google Apps for their email able to use this?

I'm getting a page that displays a message saying that only Business and Education works. Would I have to upgrade mine or wait until this is all done.

I don't really see the point of upgrading to the paid version of Google Apps just to use this.

I already have Cerberus and I have 36GB of storage in GDrive. So I guess I can make do without this.

Just a shame that I need to upgrade to use this, and if I do upgrade this, I already would have had access to this.

Agree completely. I thought Google did away with the differences between a free @gmail.com account and free @yourdomain.com account. I'm pretty sure most of us (at least the administrators of Apps for Domains) are high end users who would make use of features such as this.

Me neither, same error. "Google Apps Device Policy is only available for Google Apps Business and Education customers. Please log in with your Google Apps account to access this page."

Working all the way down here in Australia. I did you the remote ring thing and it works. But I'll let someone else test the remote wipe and I'll just take their word that it works.

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Mmmmm, weird. It located my N7, at home, in Denver but when I activated it on my N4 at work.....it's not located.

What confuses me is that I did not activate it on the N7 this morning but it located it?????

Just wondering...does GPS and/or Google Account Sync have to be on in order for this to be fully effective or does it not matter?

It doesn't appear to matter. I have GPS turned off and it took several clicks of refresh, but it finally was able to find my phone quite accurately. Though with it on, I can only imagine it would be even better.

I just tried it with WiFi on only (not GPS), and it pinpointed my location exactly. So using only cellular network it can get within like a few thousand feet radius. With WiFi on, it can pinpoint your location using Google's WiFi AP database. And obviously if GPS is on it will also give you pinpoint location info.

Live for me, but not sure how helpful it will be in cities like Newyork. Its showing blue circle on street around 20 meter away from my location.

Of my three devices I've seen 16 meter accuracy. It fluctuates up to several hundred, though. Even if it was never super accurate, it's accurate enough to the general area where you knew you were last, which is good enough, since you'd be stupid to go tracking down a thief.

Mine is live on my tablets (Nexus 7 (2012), Transformer Pad Infinity, Toshiba Thrive). Nothing on my phone, though...

Picked up my S4 on the site and Android Device Manager was listed in the Google Settings App where it told me to enable remote wipe, but no official install (that is, Titanium isn't finding com.google.android.gms).

Got it on all my devices. I got the Play Services update on my devices. yesterday and activated the setting under "Security" last night. We've only needed this since the Eclair days. Really happy to see it roll out.

I already use Lookout which largely does the same thing. What lookout also does is a Signal Flare, where it pushes out it's location to the server as the battery dies. I wonder if device manager does the same?

I just tried on my new Nexus 7, and the "Ring" doesn't work if you're logged into a profile which doesn't have your Google account attached. But the second you switch profiles to the one with, the ringer starts.

Guessing the remote wipe will work (or not work, rather) the same way.

Hopefully, Google fixes that in the near future.

Correction: Just tested it some more, and it seemed to finally ring after 3-5 minutes. Still not great, but better than not at all.

Cool!! Its working on my EVO 4gLTE in Florida. One thing.... there is no "Stop" button when you press the ring button. LOL....

Will there be a way to Lock the phone until a certain password is put in.. that way if its stolen i can LOCK it until i trace down the thief.....

It's working for my Sprint Epic 4g Touch. I think I've set it up. It was able to ring my phone.

Works for me, but I wish it could have different ringtone and not the default phone ringtone that I already have.

I just received my android device manager.. I have a galaxy s4 phone.

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It's not working for me. Both my EVO LTE and my Nexus 7 show in the drop-down list, but it says Location Unknown for both and using the Ring option does nothing...

Thanks, works here. I found the Android Device Manager option under Google Settings too (I thought this was an app that would be made available separately).

Worked -- and worked very quickly and accurately -- for my GN. Including the remote ring.

I only flashed a new ROM last night, though, so I'm not going to test the remote wipe functionality just yet. ;)

Part one finally hit my phone today and the page is also live for me. Baltimore Maryland!

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I use a Google Apps account on my Android phone and this is the message I've got:

"Google Apps Device Policy is only available for Google Apps Business and Education customers. Please log in with your Google Apps account to access this page."

Does this mean that Android Device Manager is not available for gApps customers yet?

No, I'm in the US. It is showing both my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 in the drop down but is unable to locate either of them. Very strange...

My HTC One didn't work. Said couldn't find my location. I'm also in NYC.

Weird. I'll give it time. Maybe it's a Sprint issue.

Live on Galaxy Note 2, the site works and has history of devices you used as well ability to swap between active android devices. The service works and I can't wait to see what other enhancements are in store...

Follow me on IG/Twitter: @GOGETEMB

It's live on my HTC One in NYC. I activated it. I went to the link above, selected my HTC One, and it can't find location. Also fails to ring when I do the ring option.

I wonder what's up.

Live for me on my HTC One, but it locates my phone all the way on the other end of the couch from where I'm actually sitting. Disappointing.

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OKC--AT&T GS4. Working like a champ! Rings in silent or vibrate. Better location with wifi (within 15 ft.). Data only had me within 40 ft.

Dont sacrifice your game data, just do a device-device backup to your N7 or N10... Helium by Clockwork Mod FTW. B-)

Splattered for your amusement... via the AC App

Dont sacrifice your game data, just do a device-device backup to your N7 or N10... Helium by Clockwork Mod FTW. B-)

Splattered for your amusement... via the AC App

I'm kinda skeptical...it says its accurate to within 23 meters, but it looks to be 26-28 meters off

I checked my old device (Desire HD), now used as a PMP; it was already pushed out to it, and was working good. My other 2 devices (Nexus 4 & Nexus 7), didn't have the option to enable it in Google Services. When I clicked the link to send a notification to the device it gave me the option to enable wipe and locate, since then, I have it working on all my devices.

I did notice an issue with my Nexus 7. When I enabled locate and wipe on the device, neither function will work when my daughter is logged into the alternate user account.

Working on my gs3, but not my wife's gs3. Tried unchecking the box and then reactivate, but no luck. Any settings other than the actual device manager that could affect performance? Suggestions are appreciated.

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Works for me ... they should allow you to access the device manager through the google play app

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Seems to work well except that I don't see a pin on the map. It has my neighborhood and my location within 23 meters (based on WiFi), and the map is centered on me, yet no red, "you are here" marker. Weird. Pretty nice to have baked in now.

HTC One running Stock shows up just fine, Nexus 7 running AOSPA doesnt.
Guess will wait till I reach hoem to check out the reason.

Rang and located my One, worked well

Yip I have the link and the device manager on my phone in security but get told it's only for Google apps for business. I'm on the free Google apps. Got in when it was still 50 users free.

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Still getting "Location Unavailable". Followed all the instructions on the help link. Epic Fail. I'll stick with Seek Droid and Lookout. They both work which is more than I can say for this pos.

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I still get nothing on my HTC EVO 4G LTE. When I try all I get is "Location Unavailable". Tried to kick start it by sending a notification/ring form the page but still a no go. All the instructions in the Help section have been followed too. I guess I will just stick with Lookout. At least that seems to be working.

Yeah my device is not showing anything under last used. But shows when it was registered. Any help?

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Live for me on both devices. Xoom running EOS3 and a stock SGS3. With mobile data off, it couldn't find the S3--turned that on & immediately found it.

One thing that concerns me is that it seems to show my old phone (Note 2) as well as my HTC One and Nexus 7 in the available devices. I sold my Note 2 a couple months ago, and see no way to remove it from the list.

I have a China Android mobile & the Android device manager function got enabled. The pin keys(1-9) are larger than the physical screen size, so it just shows me keys 1-6.

I cannot get past the unlock screen! PLS Help…