For the longest time, Android phone owners were wracked with jealously over Apple's Find My iPhone feature. It’s a simple-but-brilliant innovation that helps you find your phone no matter where you misplace it (and believe me, I leave my phone in some pretty weird places). Sure, Android owners have third-party apps like Cerberus and AndroidLost, but the lack of a native “Find My Android”-type feature seemed like a glaring omission from Google’s mobile operating system.
Finally though, it appears as if Android has caught up to the competition. According to the official Android blog, Google is adding a lost-phone-locating feature called Android Device Manager.
Like its iPhone app cousin, Android Device Manager helps you find your phone pretty much anywhere you’ve left it. If it’s somewhere in your home, you can set your phone to ring at maximum volume until you find it, even if its set to silent. If it’s in a more distant hiding spot, you can view its location on a map in real time. And should your device ever be stolen, Android Device Manager lets you remotely erase all the data on your phone to keep your secrets safe (from people who aren’t in the government, anyway).
Android owners can look forward to the launch of the new Android Device Manager and a companion device-locator app “later this month.” You’ll need to be running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above to use it.