Android Device Manager
Less than one week ago, Google announced the Android Device Manager, a native way to locate or ring your Android device directly from within a browser. A day later, a few ADM options started showing up in the Google Play Services app. Today, ADM is completely live and ready to use.
Google’s Android Device Manager already lets users track down their lost devices, or, in the worst case scenario, wipe all the data on it. It seems though that in its next iteration, the service will get an additional, but less drastic capability, that of locking a device and changing it’s unlock password.
When Google launched the Android Device Manager in early August, I applauded the initiative because we finally got a much-needed security solution that was built into every Android devices that ships with Google’s services. Rather, it was a good start, since the functionality was so limited: location, remote wipe, and alarm.
For the last two days, I’ve been digging around the new Google Play Services APK 3.2.64 that started rolling out to Android devices everywhere. If you remember, Google Play Services is the company’s secret weapon to combat lack of device updates, as Google can push new functionality to everyone without the need for OS patches. Think of it as a collection of services and libraries that other apps can use.
Last time, such an update allowed us to detect the advent of the Android Device Manager four days early – the APK was detected around August 3rd while the Device Manager was launched on August 7th. This time, I suspect the same thing will happen, and we’re on the verge of seeing a new much-needed feature: remote password changing and device locking.
After finding the changes in the APK, I switched my attention to the Android Device Manager’s siteand was able to dig up the messaging for the new functionality. Furthermore, I was able to roughly figure out the look for the new prompt.