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Android Device Manager finds your phone, now in Play Store

Google's official Android Device Manager app is now in the Play Store. Like Find My iPhone, it locates all your Android gadgets and can lock or erase them.

Google's official Find My iPhone-like Android Device Manager app is now in the Play Store, having been a Web-only service up till now. It means you can locate all your Android devices if you misplace them, and lock and erase them if they can't be found.

If the app shows the mobile or tablet is nearby, just hit the 'ring' button and its ringtone will blare out at full volume for 5 minutes, or until you find the thing and hit the power button.

Locking your phone means the screen will be locked and the PIN reset, so only you will be able to access it. You'll have to enter your Google password to do that, and you can enter a recovery message, perhaps to tell a stranger where to send your poor lost gadget.

The final nuclear option is to erase all your data from the device. That includes your apps, music and photos, settings and all your user data.

It's not much use if you've only got one Android gadget -- in which case you'll have to use the Web page.

The service comes with a stern warning not to try to get your phone back if you think someone's pinched it -- just call the cops, kids.

Android Device Manager is very similar to Apple's Find My iPhone service, which has the exact same three options. Samsung's Find My Mobile helpfully shows your device's movements in the last 12 hours, so if it's been nicked you can work out where the tea-leaf snatched it and diverged from where you've been.

Have you ever had call to use one of these services? Was it any help? Does it give you greater peace of mind to know you have a way to track your expensive, easily losable gadget? Find your voice in our comments section, or over on our unmovable Facebook page.