Lost Android Phone Can Be Set To Call Owner
Google has updated its lost Android capability by making it easier for anyone who finds your lost phone to get it back to you, mirroring a feature already available for iPhones.
The Company has updated its online “Android Device Manager“ to make this possible.
If you go to the Android Device Manager site, you’re first asked to enter your Google email ID address and password if you’re not already logged in.
You can then see when your device was last seen online, see it on a map if it is switched on, and then perform tasks like making it ring on the loudest setting for 5 minutes (if you’ve lost it at home or work somewhere), erase it remotely and lock it remotely.
The new feature involves remote locking of the phone.
In this section, you can enter a new password to unlock your device, a message for the finder, and a phone number that the finder can’t see but is asked to call by pressing a large green call button.
The message can be anything you want. For example, I entered “Reward if found. No questions asked” in the hope that this will motivate any thief to return the phone as well as to give a deserved reward to an innocent person who simply found the phone and has pressed the button to call me.
Naturally, the number entered here can’t be your own lost mobile number or you’ll never be contactable.
Instead, you should enter in a friend’s mobile number, your home or work landline number, your other mobile number if you have one, or some other number that you can be easily and reliably contacted on.
The number you enter is not displayed to the finder, they simply see a green call button and the words “CALL OWNER” as seen in the image on the left.
I tested the service with a Samsung Galaxy S5, and it worked as advertised, without having to download the Android Device Manager software first, although some older Androids might need it installed first, which can be done here from the Google Play store.
It’s nice to see Android catching up to iOS features as it makes Android phones less desirable to steal – a good thing for Android owners who would rather their phones not stolen.
Activating the service when losing your phone also protects the data from being read, especially if you don’t already use some kind of password protection in place.
The service is very similar to the “Find My iPhone” feature which works in the same way, and places a “call” button on the iPhone’s lock screen when you go to iCloud.com and enter a number into “Lost Mode”.