Android Device Manager will help you find your lost phone

Google will release an app this month that'll help you find your lost phone, or wipe its data if stolen.

Lost your Android handset again? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. And help will soon be at hand. Later this month, Google will release Android Device Manager, which will help you find your phone.

If you can't remember which pub/bar/drinking hole you left it in, Android Device Manager will show your phone's location on a map in real-time. Or you can set your mobile to ring at maximum volume, even if it's on Silent mode. Handy if it's just somewhere down the back of the sofa.

If you're worried about your data falling into the wrong hands, you can quickly wipe everything from your phone, too.

Android Device Manager will work on phones or tablets running Android 2.2 Froyo or higher. That's 98 per cent of all devices with Google's operating system, according to the latest stats. The feature will also be available as an app.

There are already apps out there that do this kind of thing, most notably Find My Phone -- which is made by Apple -- for the iPhone, and an app of the same name for Android. So Google is playing catch-up. Nevertheless, with its awesome mapping software and considerable resources, Google's phone location feature could come into its own. No doubt it'll be a welcome addition to Google Play's portfolio of apps.

Perhaps aware of just how useful a feature like this is, a couple of Android device manufacturers have tried their hand at making their own phone-finding programs. HTC's has since been retired, while Sony announced its My Xperia program earlier this year.

Have you ever used an app or program to find your phone? Which is the best one? Can Google's effort stand out from the crowd in any way? What features would you like to see? Let me know in the comments, or on our easy-to-find Facebook page.

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