Losing your phone is never fun and in the event your precious Android device lands itself in someone else’s hands, 1 of 2 things can happen. That person will either have a new phone to add to their collection, or they’ll be kind enough to return it. But even attempting to return a device to its original owner could prove difficult if the phone is locked up with some sort of password.
Today, Google is taking a lot of the stress out of this entire situation by adding a few handy new feature to Android Device Manager. The web interface (and app) now has a few new options in the “lock” section. Like before, the device can be force locked with a password (something you’ll want to do to keep your all your private data/media safe) but now you’ll now see the option to add a recovery message to the lockscreen, along with a phone number the person can call to return the device. For the message, it can be anything you like. You can add death threats, or take the more cordial route (we recommend being as polite as possible).
When a phone number is added, the only action the finder can take is to either successfully enter the password, or press the big onscreen call button to call the number you entered into Android Device Manager. Once they call you, you can then politely thank them for finding your phone, and set up a way for them to return it to you. Whatever you do, don’t end up like the guy who showed up at a thief’s house branding a weapon, getting stabbed in the eye, then killing said thief in the scuffle. That would be bad.