We’ve talked here before about Android Device Manager, a Google service to locate your device via geolocation, make it beep, or even remotely block it in case of loss or theft. With the latest update the option has been added to customize the your lock screen in case your device falls into unknown hands, displaying a button to call the owner, a custom phrase, and a password to force-unlock the device.
Once you’ve installed the app on your smartphone and enabled the device’s geolocation service, you can determine its location from anywhere using the web service, which you can log into using the details for the Google account associated with the device. From there you can view all the associated Android devices, whether they are easy to find or not.
One of the available options, besides making the device beep or remotely erasing all the data on it so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, is the option to block the device and display a lock screen of your choice. To do so you just have to click on the ‘Block’ button.
In the drop-down menu that will appear you can fill in a series of fields:
- New password: The new password you type in will not change the one for the associated email account, but rather will serve as the default unlock code for your device, replacing the one you had programmed previously (slide, gesture, etc.) If you manage to recover your phone, you just have to put in this password and re-program the lock code you had before from Settings > Security > Lock screen.
- Recovery message: This is optional, and will make a message of your choice appear on the lock screen.
- Phone number: Also optional, this features makes a button appear in the center of the screen that will automatically call a number you’ve preset. The combination of this option with the message described before is ideal for helping good-hearted people easily return your lost phone to you if they find it.