Google launched Android Device Manager back in August, but it curiously made the tool web-only, eschewing a native Android app and causing a lot of confusion in doing so. The Android Device Manager is now in the Play Store, and does most of the things that Apple’s Find My iPhone service does, but for Android gadgets instead of iOS-powered devices.
The new app, like the web interface, lets you locate your Android device on a map, see when it was last located and when it was last used, as well as ring, lock and wipe the device. Plenty of people I spoke to about the service early on were excited it was finally bringing some device security features to Google’s mobile OS, but also confused when they searched the Play Store only to find that no actual app for the service existed.
Of course, in theory having it operate on the web makes more sense: if you’ve lost your phone, an Android app running on it won’t do much good in terms of helping you track it down. It makes more sense to have an Android Device Manager on the web, where it was born, but people were bound to look for it on the Android mobile app store, especially given the example provided by Apple’s competing service. Having an app also means that people who have multiple Android devices, including tablets, will have faster access to the security features contained therein.