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Google unveils Android-equivalent of 'Find My iPhone'

Google’s Device Manager for Android helps users locate their phones.

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Android will now have a geolocating security service.

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There’s that one time you left your Android device in a restaurant, and then the other time when you left it in a fitting room. And occasionally, you might leave it on your kitchen counter, and panic all day at work wondering where it went.

Google has introduced a way to track down misplaced Android devices, which will help alleviate the stress of the cellphone hide-and-seek game.  

The Android Device Manager lets users ring their phone at maximum volume, even if the phone is on silent, and locate the phone on a real-time map. If there is no hope of retrieving the phone, users can even wipe their device clean of all information – the so-called "kill switch" – so that their data doesn’t fall into ill-intentioned hands.  

While these new features will certainly help recover cellphone devices that are tucked into the folds of a sofa, the Device Manager also addresses a more serious problem plaguing smart phone users nationwide: the rise of cellphone theft.

The San Francisco and New York attorneys general both supported the creation of a Save our Smartphones initiative to combat rampant theft of these devices. In New York City, 20 percent of all robberies involved the theft of a smart phone – a 40 percent increase since 2011, according to a statement issued by the Save our Smartphone coalition. New York City even has a separate Apple task force that deals solely with the theft of iPhones and iPads.

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