updated 02:13 pm EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
Android Device Manager will track devices, remotely ring, wipe data
Google will be helping owners of Android smartphones and tablet find their lost or stolen mobile device in the future, by releasing a new app. Android Device Manager will provide users with the location of the lost device, along with details for when it was last used, and the option to remotely trigger its ringtone at maximum volume, even if it has been silenced.
In the event that the device has been stolen or is left in a situation where it cannot be retrieved by the user, the app provides an option to remotely wipe data from the device. Though the official Android blog does not mention what happens if the device is switched off when the command is sent, it is likely to do so upon connecting to a data network and after checking in with Google servers.
The Android Device Manager service will be made available later this month through the owner's Google account, as well as through an Android app, and will be able to track devices running Android version 2.2 or higher.
The problem of losing a phone has caused app developers to release programs on Google Play to counter the issue, as well as forcing manufacturers to work out their own methods, such as Motorola Device ID in the recently-announced Moto X. While these apps may end up being depreciated in favor of a Google-supplied and free service, they could continue to thrive if they are able to offer services above and beyond what Google is providing, as well as supporting devices that are incompatible with Android Device Manager.