Google has launched a remote management tool for its mobile operating system called Android Device Manager.
The feature, which is similar to Apple's Find My iPhone app, lets users of Android smartphones and tablets locate and remotely wipe the device if it is lost or stolen, a feature long called for by Android users. While firms like HTC, Sony and Samsung all have proprietary security tools on their Android smartphones, this is the first time Google has released such a feature.
As well as proving a useful tool for lost and stolen smartphones, it's also handy for those who frequently lose their smartphone without even shifting from the sofa. Android Device Manager lets users ring the device using its accompanying website at maximum volume, even if the device has been silenced. If even that can't help find the device in the depths of your home, it can also be pinpointed in real-time on a map.
Google's Android product manager Benjamin Poiesz wrote in a blog post:
Have you ever lost your phone in between the couch cushions or forgot it in a restaurant? Or maybe searching for your phone before you rush out the door is part of your morning routine? Let the new Android Device Manager help you out! It's one of a few simple features you can use to keep your device—and the data you store inside—safe and secure.
Android Device Manager will be available toward the end of August and will be compatible with devices running Android 2.2 and above. To use the app, users will need to be signed in to a Google account, too.