Getting back a lost phone
We’ve all had that terrifying moment where we look in our pocket or purse and our phone is gone. Forever. We immediately consider that all of our passwords are saved on our beloved device, all of our work and personal information lives there, and maybe even some umm personal pictures that should remain public. Panic.
Android Device Manager is a free Android app that comes pre-loaded on all new Android devices, and its core function is to locate or lock your lost phone (or wipe the phone clean immediately). It answers to that immediate panic you may have felt a few times before realizing you just left your phone on the diner table and the waitstaff has it (and can’t access since you are smart enough to use a password lock anyway).
Although you don’t see glossy ads on tv about Android Device Manager, the functionality has long been there, but it recently got better with a new “call owner” button so that when your phone is lost, it can be set to call you (and no one else) as soon as it is found (see image above).
So how do you activate the feature? When you lose your phone, you go to the Android Device Manager in a browser, and as Phandroid explains, “Like before, the device can be force locked with a password (something you’ll want to do to keep your all your private data/media safe) but now you’ll now see the option to add a recovery message to the lockscreen, along with a phone number the person can call to return the device. For the message, it can be anything you like. You can add death threats, or take the more cordial route (we recommend being as polite as possible).”
It is visually easy to understand, and it can definitely help a lost phone get back into your hands, but the truth is that if someone is a thief and acting maliciously, there are always ways around the lock (which we won’t outline, but they do exist). The app’s new “call owner” button does go a long way toward helping people reconnect with their beloved devices, especially when malice is not involved.