It may have taken it a while, but Google finally has its own Android phone-tracking service.
Android Device Manager, which should be available later this month, locates owners’ lost devices from afar, greatly increasing the chances of recovery if the phones are misplaced.
In addition to simply plotting device location on a map, the service also can dial up a phone — a helpful feature for when missing devices simply misplaced nearby. In the event that someone can’t find their gadget, Android Device Manager can also completely wipe a phone’s content.
The timing of the news is worth singling out. Google’s announcement comes just a day after it officially unveiled the Moto X, the first true Google phone. If the company ends up selling as many of these phones as it certainly hopes it will, it needs to provide a way for Moto X owners to recover their devices should they lose them (or they’re stolen). The introduction of Android Device Manager, in that sense, was pretty inevitable.
Android Device Manager is an extension of similar features that Google has offered via My Devices, a collection of management tools that’s only be available so far to Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government customers.
Above: Android Device Manager’s feature set is pretty standard.
While these features are pretty standard as far as these things go, what’s notable is just how long it took Google to get this far. Just about every phone manufacturer – including Apple, HTC, Sony, and Samsung, — already offers such a service, which makes Google’s lack of inclusion both glaring and, frankly, absurd.