"Find your phone" helps you locate, lock and call your missing device.
Google is making it easier to find your lost or stolen phone — whether it’s an Android device or an iPhone.
The company announced a new feature called “Find your phone” this week. As a Google blog post puts it:
In a few simple steps, you can not only locate your phone, but also lock and call it, secure your account, leave a callback number on the screen, and more.
Google launched this new feature in conjunction with the first anniversary of the launch of Google’s My Account, which the company describes as “a hub that gives you quick access to controls for safeguarding your data and protecting your privacy on Google.”
The My Account hub is also where you can access the “Find your phone” feature.
Soon, you’ll also be able to access the feature by doing a Google search for “I lost my phone,” according to the blog post.
Google’s support for owners of misplaced phones is not new, though. As The Verge reports, Google already allowed Android users to track their misplaced phones through search and through use of the free Android Device Manager app.
So the “Find your phone” feature and its addition to the My Account hub mean “yet another path to checking exactly where your precious device is on a map,” The Verge explains.
Some people are raising privacy concerns about this added support, however. According to a report from the Mercury News’ Silicon Beat blog:
What Google didn’t mention in the announcement were the specifics of the data it stores, and which can be accessed — and deleted — via “My Account.” Audio recordings of voice search on Google are kept … along with searches and browsed content from Google Chrome and other apps, location history, and YouTube searches and viewing history.
If that creeps you out, you might want to check out:
- “6 Ways to Keep Your Smartphone Safe From Hackers“
- “5 Ways to Keep The NSA From Snooping Through Your E-Life“
- “The Hidden Dangers of Selling Your Old Smartphone“
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