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Android gets Find My iPhone-like feature 3 years after Apple

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Google's Android platform has largely caught up to Apple's iOS in at least one respect: Android device owners will soon be able to track the location of their phone much in the same way iPhone owners have been able to do since 2010.



The Android team revealed in a blog post on Friday that the new Android Device Manager (ADM) feature will roll out later this month for devices running Android 2.2 Froyo or later. That covers all but 1.3 percent 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. In the event a phone cannot be recovered, ADM also allows for the secure erasure of all of the data on a device.

In releasing ADM, Google is a latecomer to the phone location and remote interaction game. Both 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.

Additionally, other Android device manufacturers have already stepped in where Google had not. Sony, for instance, offers a my Xperia security service for its Android-powered Xperia line. That feature allows users to sound alarms, wake a device's display, lock a phone, or remotely erase data if necessary.
post #2 of 58
Kudos to Google. Android users will certainly appreciate it being built-in to the OS rather than only available via a third party. Took'em long enough.
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post #3 of 58
It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.

Every once in awhile you come up with truly funny stuff. Well done!!lol.gif
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post #5 of 58

This is not the Android you are looking for <waves hand>

post #6 of 58
Just look in the nearest dumpster. When thieves realize they stole a Sammy, they'll just toss the sucker.
post #7 of 58
Easy phone tracking, plus a malware-friendly platform. Match made in heaven!
post #8 of 58
They finally answered SolipsismX's question.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #9 of 58

Quote: DWL too funny

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.
post #10 of 58

This has been available for a long time already via Google Apps account. It was never free though until now.

 

https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/1235372?hl=en

post #11 of 58
Lawsuit or not?
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bro2ma View Post

Lawsuit or not?

1confused.gif
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post #13 of 58
Excellent. Three more years and Google Android may catch up to where Apple iOS was three years ago.
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Excellent. Three more years and Google Android may catch up to where Apple iOS was three years ago.

 

You mean like it took years for Apple to get a Notification Center and Control Center when Android had them for much longer (Notification pull down goes back to the very first Android device!)

post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

 

You mean like it took years for Apple to get a Notification Center and Control Center when Android had them for much longer (Notification pull down goes back to the very first Android device!)

Which first appeared in Cyndia on iOS.  Stop nagging the notification center has the only defence adnoids fans can pull agains iOS.

 

It took up to version 4.2 for Google to speedup and separated the graphics rending from the main thread, something any sane OS already do since the 80's 


Edited by BigMac2 - 8/2/13 at 1:32pm
post #16 of 58

Two weeks after the rollout, we see the first reports of 3rd party apps accessing this information silently, without permission, and sending it back to home servers for targeted ads and who knows what else.

[this account has been abandoned]

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[this account has been abandoned]

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post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


...

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. In the event a phone cannot be recovered, ADM also allows for the secure erasure of all of the data on a device.

...

It doesn't "ring" the phone, actually... it plays [and counts] a random 30-second YouTube commercial at full volume.


Next, Google will expand the scope with another, similar, app called "Irritate My Friends".
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #18 of 58
Sure hope the location data they use for it is better than what they've got for Latitude. Latitude is a joke%u2026it put my friend in a neighborhood that he not only was not in, but hadn't even been in earlier in the day (i.e., it wasn't just stale data, it was just plain wrong data).
post #19 of 58
People steal Android phones? OMG, why?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.

 

What else would fandroids do to validate their lives if they're not spending their time tweaking and rooting their Android phones? They might be forced to do something useful or interact with people, which would be unthinkable. 

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Easy phone tracking, plus a malware-friendly platform. Match made in heaven!

Agreed
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Which first appeared in Cyndia on iOS.  Stop nagging the notification center has the only defence adnoids fans can pull agains iOS.

 

It took up to version 4.2 for Google to speedup and separated the graphics rending from the main thread, something any sane OS already do since the 80's 

So jailbreaked stuff counts now? LOL.

 

iOS lacked tons of stuff Android had for years: system wide Intents and Services APIs, inter-app sharing, home screen widgets, multi-tasking switcher, voice input, and on and on. It only recently caught up and still lacks system wide app sharing capacity. Can't save to Drop Box or Share to Path from every app, you're stuck with Apple's once-a-year integrations with Twitter or Facebook. iOS is a glorified app launcher compared to Android.

post #23 of 58
Finally, after 3 years.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

So jailbreaked stuff counts now? LOL.

 

iOS lacked tons of stuff Android had for years: system wide Intents and Services APIs, inter-app sharing, home screen widgets, multi-tasking switcher, voice input, and on and on. It only recently caught up and still lacks system wide app sharing capacity. Can't save to Drop Box or Share to Path from every app, you're stuck with Apple's once-a-year integrations with Twitter or Facebook. iOS is a glorified app launcher compared to Android.

Also, Apple lacked of stuff Android had for years: fragmentation and malware.

post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.

No, it's actually because no one really wanted to steal one in the first place.  It's like a tranny. From a distance, it looks like an iPhone, but when they get up close enough the would be thief decides not to take it since it's not the real thing.  I guess they had to get some much product out there that they have enough thefts to warrant implementing the feature. Plus Google doesn't take security as that important of an issue, they just want to bloat the OS with Widgets, Themes, and dumb features, you probably will only use to show off but don't have much practical use.

 

Google just gives too much ammunition for being ridiculed.  it's the new Microsoft.

post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

Also, Apple lacked of stuff Android had for years: fragmentation and malware.


Oh, that is rich. An app launcher. Yes. Yes, it is. Not that Android fanatics would know anything about using apps on their glorified pet rock.
post #27 of 58

Does this new feature require an update to everyone's OS, or is it just an app?  if it requires an update to the OS, it will take a MINIMUM of 6 to 7 after each OS update is released before your device actually gets it since each OEM mfg has to first decide IF they are going to bother updating each and every device they've made.  Oh god.  Why can't Google think of security issues as a top priority rather than widgets, themes and non-essential features?  too busy trying to create useless features and eye candy for the little children I see.

post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post


Oh, that is rich. An app launcher. Yes. Yes, it is. Not that Android fanatics would know anything about using apps on their glorified pet rock.

Widgets....   And Microsoft has a kickstand..........................   See.   Click.  

post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

What else would fandroids do to validate their lives if they're not spending their time tweaking and rooting their Android phones? They might be forced to do something useful or interact with people, which would be unthinkable. 

Rooting is hours of fun. Don't knock it till you tried it. Nothing like giving the finger to the manufacturer and their stupid "rules". It's all about expressing your true self through custom elite haxx0r roms.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

So jailbreaked stuff counts now? LOL.

iOS lacked tons of stuff Android had for years: system wide Intents and Services APIs, inter-app sharing, home screen widgets, multi-tasking switcher, voice input, and on and on. It only recently caught up and still lacks system wide app sharing capacity. Can't save to Drop Box or Share to Path from every app, you're stuck with Apple's once-a-year integrations with Twitter or Facebook. iOS is a glorified app launcher compared to Android.

You seemed to have missed the "Open in..." functionality available to any app, which allows you "save to Dropbox" from any app that enables it. I do it all the time.

Don't even pretend Android has better APIs than iOS. iOS murders Android with APIs.
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Which first appeared in Cyndia on iOS.  Stop nagging the notification center has the only defence adnoids fans can pull agains iOS.

It took up to version 4.2 for Google to speedup and separated the graphics rending from the main thread, something any sane OS already do since the 80's 
Not that it really matters but Androids notification center was shown in online
videos well before the "Cydia" developer community came up with their version of it for iOS. I'd guess that the Android feature was the inspiration for that particular developer but who knows for certain other than him.
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post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

[Android is] like a tranny.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Don't even pretend Android has better APIs than iOS. iOS murders Android with APIs.

Which is why Android has OpenGL ES 3.0 support, and iOS doesn't.

 

Since Q3 2012, there are more than 30 different devices that offer hardware support for GLES3 with sales in the millions.

 

PowerVR 6 Series that offer GLES3 support might only be appearing in an Apple A# SoC later this year.

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.


It took three years for "accidental" thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this. - that's funny!! lol.gif

Great stuff!

post #35 of 58
Quote:
It took three years for accidental thefts to be prevalent enough to need something like this.

Though why anyone would want their Android phone back after it's stolen is beyond me.

Let me try....perhaps because its THEIR phone and it belonged to them and they paid for it. If someone stole something you really liked, wouldnt you want it back?

Always happy to debate an issue with anyone. Once it turns into name calling, I am out of there. 
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Always happy to debate an issue with anyone. Once it turns into name calling, I am out of there. 
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post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

So jailbreaked stuff counts now? LOL.

 

iOS lacked tons of stuff Android had for years: system wide Intents and Services APIs, inter-app sharing, home screen widgets, multi-tasking switcher, voice input, and on and on. It only recently caught up and still lacks system wide app sharing capacity. Can't save to Drop Box or Share to Path from every app, you're stuck with Apple's once-a-year integrations with Twitter or Facebook. iOS is a glorified app launcher compared to Android.

 

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "lacks system wide app sharing?" I thought URL schemes let one pass data between apps.

post #37 of 58

Have I stumbled into a parallel universe?

 

Smug jokes about Android 'catching up' to iOS by adding features don't really work, because Android's featureset is considerably broader than iOS's. iOS may have got this first - but what about NFC? A keyboard with proper word prediction? Pattern unlock? Proper widget support? One-tap access to settings like wi-fi? Built-in navigation? Android had all these features before iOS.

 

By all means say that iOS is more stable than Android, smoother than Android, has a wider range of apps than Android, has less malware than Android, has bettery battery life than Android...

 

But don't suggest that Android's featureset is 'catching up' to iOS's, because that just ain't true.

post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

A keyboard with proper word prediction? Proper widget support? One-tap access to settings like wi-fi? Built-in navigation?

Take your FUD and shove it.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #39 of 58
Wrong! Although designed to track your (opt in) contacts, Google's Latitude allowed you to track your own device, so whilst not allowing remote wipe etc, did allow you to find a lost device. I think it has been merged with another Google service now.

All said, Apple's implementation is more robust.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Take your FUD and shove it.

 

How is my post FUD? FUD has to be untrue, and nothing in my post is untrue - Android did get all of those features before iOS did.

 

The shame is that it's really quite easy to advocate iOS over Android convincingly. iOS largely has the advantages I mentioned - stability, smoothness, battery life, range of apps. 

 

But instead, you bury your head in the sand at any criticism of Apple and refuse to accept that iOS is not perfect. This monomania actually harms your credibility, because you look like somebody who's far too emotionally involved rather than somebody making a rational, credible argument.

 

And no, I won't 'shove it'. I guess that's the kind of language which finally got you booted out of the moderation team. Shame you haven't learned.

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