Android Device Manager can locate, alert, lock or reset your smartphone remotely… except when it can’t. Google’s Theft Protection service should work without issue, given its delicate nature, but a slew of users have reported issues with the security system connecting to their devices.
It all started with Sandra Buensalida bringing the issue to light in March. We know it’s been a while, but it wasn’t until recently that the story started to pick up steam. Sandra’s Android device manager was showing a “No active device” message when she tried to locate her Nexus 5 running Android 5.1. His smartphone was active on the Google Play Store, Google account settings and everything else seemed to be working fine; all without success on Android Device Manager.
The problem was buried in the product forums until Googler Paul came on the scene asking Sandra to do some further troubleshooting. That’s when all the other reports started coming in. While Paul previously thought this was an isolated event, more users started to get Google’s attention and Paul finally announced that the search giant was working on it.
So far there has been no other update suggesting the issue has been fixed, so all we can do is assume this issue is still active – even though this post has been edited for the last time on April 27. The good news is that Paul’s latest update mentions a possible workaround.
How to solve this problem
It’s not a proven method and even Paul from Google mentioned it”may make your device reappear in the Android device manager”. Anyway, there seems to be at least a temporary solution. Those who have added a guest account to their Android devices should go ahead and delete it. Apparently this has helped some members of the Google Product Forums.
We still need a fix
This isn’t a solution, however, as you shouldn’t have to give up one feature just to use another. Additionally, Android Device Manager is part of Google’s kill switch method built into the Android platform. Essentially, those experiencing these issues don’t have access to a kill switch, so they can’t protect their phone or private data. That’s not good news, especially considering that California law requires a working kill switch.
We wondered how many of you were affected by this. All of my devices display without issue, so I can’t really comment on that myself. And you?