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Google Play: Remote App Installation and Recovering Android Devices That Are Already Lost

In an age where many users feel increasingly tied to their mobile devices and tablets, security is becoming an increasingly greater concern. With apps like Lookout on the market freely available to users, thieves and hackers are finally facing considerable resistance in the line of mobile theft. The question that will be addressed by this article is though: What does Google Play store have to offer users looking to recover lost devices? The answer is, quite a lot, assuming your device still has battery (Which it typically will if you have only just lost it!).

A standard reaction to a lost device is to ring it repeatedly, in the vain hope that somebody will hear it or the thief will answer, which more often than not just drains the remaining battery of the device. If you have access to a computer, there is a far better option available. A well known and great feature of Lookout security is that if somebody tries to access your device and fails repeatedly, or a request is made by you, it will automatically email you the location of the device and a photo from the front facing camera. It even has permissions to turn on GPS if it is disabled to save battery. But how does a computer tie in here?

The streamlining of accounts and interconnectivity policy that Google pushes is unpopular amongst many of its most loyal users, but such a drive by Google has resulted in some benefits to the User. The most important, and the most relevant to this article, is the fact that Google Play allows you to select apps from your account, and order your device to install them remotely from your pc (providing you have data, which is increasingly becoming normality amongst 3G and 4G enabled device owners). This feature alone, coupled with the versatility of lookout enables a user to remotely order the device to download the software, install it AND allow the permissions and automatically launch and run the app in the background (an account can be created an logged in to through the internet, which is then automatically associated with the Google account on which the app was downloaded). This means that if a user realises in time, and has not installed any form of security software, it is still not too late to recover their device and all of their files.

The location data can then be accessed through email, along with a photo, and passed on to the relevant authorities in order to enable a recovery of the device. (If it hasn't been stolen, you can simply just go and look where you dropped it by using Google maps to work out where it was).

To conclude, the new features offered by Google Play give users a further reaching control over their devices than ever before. No longer does it not being on your person remove your control over the device. This knowledge has wide ranging applications, and can only enable better security further, making life more difficult for those trying to get control of personal data and devices.


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