As soon as the news of the Android Finder App better known as the “Android Device Manager” was out, the TechPost published an article about it. Up until now, Android users have had to depend on third party apps for security. It was alarming that Android had no official “Phone Finder” App. The available options (that were free) had little success in helping keep Android users find their lost devices.
This was one of the advantages that iOS and Windows had over Android; they had default security apps that actually worked. For whatever reasons Google is late to this party, we are glad they finally arrived. There are many reasons why smartphone users worry about security and even though I cannot list them all, being able to operate your phone remotely is important.
- Most smartphones are expensive and losing them to a thief can be a very big inconvenience and set back that Google and manufacturers need to take note of. No one wants to lose their phone!
- In the process of life things happen… we forget phones on the bus, in a taxi and wherever else. Phones will always get lost yet we still want to be in control of the phone or device or at least what they contain even when they are not in our reach
- After many years with your phone, there’s a lot of memories created through photos and Videos taken that no one would want to let go being able to safely store those memories or making sure they don’t land in the wrong hands becomes important to a user
- We all have a privacy we want to maintain and wouldn’t want our data and information in the hands of a stranger or worse still the wrong hands because we lost our phone
- In Uganda tracking your phone with the help of the police is for lack of better word nauseating or in simpler terms more expensive than your device itself so an inbuilt Finder comes as a Savior
According to the Official Android Blog, ADM will locate and ring your misplaced device even if its in silent, locate your phone on Google Maps in real time or in the last resort wipe your device’s data if you fail to find it. As much as we appreciate Google’s efforts, these are some of the features we would expect ADM to have.
- The App should come pre – installed on the every Android phone from now on and should be regularly updated
- Take photos of person holding via Front & Back Camera
- Remotely lock your device to prevent any form of access
- Display a custom message on the screen e.g “This Phone has been stolen please return to Owner”
- Use SMS Commands/Triggers to activate and control phone remotely
- Remotely wipe your device to erase your personal data on phone/SD card
- Global Availability: Many times companies ignore Africa let not Google make this mistake. The app should be globally available
- Real time location updates of whoever is in possession of my device via Google Maps should be a minimum standard
- Obtain Driving/Walking directions to device location,
- Locate and ring your misplaced device even when in silent
- Battery charge indicator
- Detect/Prevent SIM changes and report new SIM card and network info
- Prevent Switching Off of the phone
- Use of the Serial number (IMEI) rather than just my Google account to track the phone: Its possible that the thief could flash my device and erase my Google account info. So being able to use my phone serial number to locate my missing device is a relevant feature.
- Use Laptop/Phone to find phone: The use of a laptop or phone to find your lost device is important and should not be restricted to one or another.
True, Android is late to the party. But at least it’s the right party! This is something that the Telecoms should have been delivering to mobile subscribers, but once again Operating System vendors are proving to be more relevant at delivering value added services to mobile users. Google’s product simplicity and user experience is undisputed, but we shall have to wait and see what the device manager will have for us. Image: Venturebeat