Android Finally Gets Find My iPhone Like Feature
As both Apple and Google continue to compete against one another, Google’s Android platform seems to be catching up to Apple’s iOS platform in at least one aspect. Android devices will soon be able to track the location of their phone much in the same way that iPhone owners have been able to do since 2010.
The Android team recently revealed in a blog post that the new Android Device Manager (ADM) feature will roll out later this month for devices running Android 2.2 Froyo or later. This covers all but 1.3% of Android devices according to Google’s figures. The new feature will allow device owners to ring a phone at maximum volume in order to find it, even if it has been silenced. Users can also locate a device on a map with real-time location data. If the phone can’t be recovered, ADM also allows for the secure erasure of all the data on a device.
As a result of ADM, Google seems to have become a latecomer to the phone location and remote interaction game. Apple and Microsoft have had a “find my phone” feature built into their mobile platforms since 2010. Apple has spent the three years since introducing Find My iPhone steadily improving the feature. In December, the iPhone maker added driving directions to the app and the iOS 7 beta includes both a password disabling feature that locks a device out of a user’s iTunes account and an activation lock feature that shuts a phone down entirely.
Other Android device manufacturers have already stepped in where Google hadn’t. Sony for instance, Sony’s my Xperia security service for its Android-powered Xperia line. This feature allows users to sound alarms wake a device’s display, lock a phone, or remotely erase data if necessary.
We’ll have to see if the move helps Android gain an edge over the iOS platform in the ongoing mobile wars.