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Google makes it even easier for people to return your lost Android device… unless it was stolen

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:50PM EST
Android Device Manager v1.3.8 Update

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Google has released a significant update to its Android Device Manager, the program that helps Android users secure their lost or stolen devices and try to recover them by allowing the person who finds the device to easily call the owner. Android Police has already looked at Android Device Manager v1.3.8, revealing that its only major new feature is the callback button.

Once updated to v1.3.8, Android users will be able to add a phone number in the remote locking screen while also letting them change the lockscreen password and set up an optional message. When the phone number is filled in, the person who turns on a lost handset will see a big green button on the screen, which can be used to automatically dial that number.

A field to enter the phone number is also available in the web interface of the Android Device Manager.

The feature only works on smartphones – obviously – as tablets can’t be used for calling purposes, unless they happen to be gigantic phones.

Finally, the feature is only helpful if the person who found your device did not actually steal it from you, in which case chance he or she will likely not call you to return the Android device… although given some of the stupid criminals we’ve seen this year, it wouldn’t shock us if they did.

A future update may also bring Hangouts support for direct calls, Android Police speculates, based on what it has dug up in v1.3.8 – however, that feature is far from being confirmed.

Android Device Manager v1.3.8 can be manually installed by following the source link below, in case Google’s update has not arrived yet. An image showing the new security feature follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.