android device manager rollout

On Friday, Google addressed a longtime shortcoming of the Android platform – the lack of a built-in “lost phone” application, that would allow users to remotely manage, locate, block, or wipe their misplaced devices.

The new app, called Android Device Manager, has already begun to roll out to users, according to various reports on Reddit, XDA, and other forums. The functionality is part of Google Play Services, which means it will be automatically and silently added to all devices running Android 2.2 and higher.

To check if the new functionality hit your device, navigate to Settings > Security, where you should find a section called Device Administrators. There, you should see Android Device Manager and other similar apps that you may have installed, such as Cerberus or Lookout.

Several redditors posted screenshots of ADM, and the good news is the rollout reports come from all over the world, meaning that the app won’t be restricted to the US, as some have feared. If you can’t wait for the rollout, you can get the new Play Services APK file from this Android Police post, but note that there might be multiple Play Services .apk files floating around, so make sure to update through the official channel once the rollout is widely available. Also note that actually using ADM requires the web interface, which doesn’t appear to be public yet.

Android Device Manager lets users remotely locate, erase, or ring a lost or stolen Android device by logging in to a web app on their Google account. While this functionality has long been available on Android through third party apps such as Cerberus, it’s good to see Google making it available to all users, regardless of their tech savvy, and with minimal hassle.

As usual, the ADM rollout should take a few days or even a couple of weeks to reach your phone. As AOSP lead Jean Baptiste Queru recently detailed, rollouts initially start slow to allow developers to pinpoint and solve any potential issues before the new software hits a large number of devices.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • M1

    On my N4 there´s the section Device Administrators but sadly there isn´t Android Device Manager..

  • Johnathan Katz

    Right, and I’m going to give my information to google with the knowledge that even they can remotely shut down and erase my tablet information whenever they so choose.

    No thank you.

    • Paul Taylor

      What dream world are you living in? Why would Google want to shut down and erase your tablet information? If you dislike Google so much, perhaps you shouldn’t be using an Android tablet…

      • john

        Lol exactly. And what makes you so special that Google would want to access YOUR tablet? Ha

    • Alexandros Iliopoulos

      You’re super duper retard huh? You don’t want Google to track you but you’re using Social Networks… Bravo!

    • You know that Google can already do this, right? They’ve already done so with a leaked device, the Galaxy Nexus and remotely pulled malware off of users people’s devices in the past.

    • chris

      I somewhat agree with you.
      I need remote-lock functionality, but I don’t trust remote-wipe ability. For me the benefit of remote-wipe is not enough to justify its possible harm.

      Anyway, remember that this functionality only works with active internet connection. If your purpose is to prevent thieves get your data on stolen phone, you should use good disk encryption, don’t rely on any remote-wipe feature.

      happy wiping :D

      • Heard of cloud backup/storage? Don’t keep anything on your phone and your safe to wipe it anytime…. just like a Chromebook :)

    • kris_pacific

      If so can you bet that u haven’t done that (give your information) using android or any of Google product ………. and IF they want to wipe YOUR tablet cant they do that with out Android Device Manager

  • Paul Taylor

    Device Administrators isn’t a new section – it’s been there since at least 2.3 if not earlier. Android Device Manager will appear there after the update, but things like Lookout and Tasker will be there already if you’ve granted them Device Administrator privileges.

    • districtjack

      I checked my phone and Android Device Manager is indeed in my Device Administrators section, but I cannot find it in my app drawer. If I check the box beside ADM on the Device Administrators page, will it show up in my app drawer?

      I looked up ADM on google’s Android site and they have not published any instructions yet. Has anyone enabled that checkbox in the administrators section yet?

  • NateCress

    On my Motorola Atrix HD I have that section, but no ADM. HOWEVER, I do have something interesting that I’ve never seen before. “Motorola Services” Activating this administrator gives the same permissions as ADM plus “Set Password Rules” and “Monitor screen-unlock attempts”.

  • LorenzKE

    Jip, Germany,we got it – N4

  • IM

    will it be a system app? meaning, it can’t be uninstalled without rooting, or won’t be gone after factory reset?

    • rhoadster91

      That is kinda complicated to answer. The factory version of the app is a system app, but installing an update on it will make it a user app. Despite being a user app, you cannot uninstall this. On the other hand, you do have an option to “disable” the updated version, but this will just replace your current version (user app) with the factory version (system app)

  • dreamkiller
  • titan

    Showed up on my SGH-T999 running CM10.1 nightly.

  • Daniel Bristow

    Sorry if this is a dumb question guys, but what if I’m using CM 10.1? Will it still update/install? Thanks!

    • Damodara das

      Yep. As long as you have the google framework installed, you’ll get it.

  • FritzPinguin

    It is here on my Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Thailand.

  • Christian Lindqvist

    To check if the new functionality hit your device, navigate to Settings > Security, where you should find a section called Device Administrators ! I have HTC One and there is no device administrators option can anyone help out?

  • David Rodríguez Anchuelo

    got it in Austria, in my Galaxy S4

  • Shayne Johnson

    when is the update being released ? I use the Note 2 on AT&T….I currently use the app called “Wheres My Droid” which pretty much does the same thing, but if Google puts out their own app, I assume it will be safer to use than something from the app store (?)…..I’m trying to get used to the Android world after being a applehead for a few years

  • Eric Bright

    It hit my phone and I’m coming from Rwanda, East Africa.

  • Bret Kerrins

    I’m able to install it, but there are no instructions for using it. Lookout, Wheres My Droid, etc, are pretty easy to use to locate my device. I just don’t see how this helps me remember where I left my phone.

    • Ryan

      That would be because they haven’t actually published the web interface yet, as stated in the article.

  • monkeypox69

    It wasn’t on my phone, so I did a reboot. Checked about 5 minutes later and there it was.

    But I guess it’s pretty useless without the web interface, isn’t it?

  • Simon Belmont

    I just got it today on my GSM Galaxy Nexus running stock Android 4.3. It hasn’t showed up on my older phones yet (they run Android 2.3 and Android 4.0). It hasn’t showed up on my 2012 N7 either, or my HP TouchPad and B&N Nook Color running CM10.1 or my wife’s HTC One.

    I think a reboot helps get it to show up. After I rebooted my G’Nex, it downloaded the new Google Play Services.

  • Greg90814

    Does the Erase Device function also erase the SD card (if there is one)?

  • Aran

    I have it, enabled, and went to the site, but it can’t locate my phone (which is in my hand). Last active 2 days ago, it says…

  • www

    Am very new to android and smarphones. So have a basic question. I can see the Device manger in my phone. If the phone gets lost how will i control or find my phone ? Is there a web interface to use from my laptop to do it?