Like many of the tech readers, it has also come to our attention via the Android Police that many users' recent Google Play Services 4.0 update has automatically turned off Android Device Manager's ability to act as a device administrator in some of the Android devices.
Now, the question is why would Google remove such a useful and handy security feature that they added only a few weeks ago, and all that without even telling anyone? We only found that out because we always surf around the net for Android news. And, the vast majority of Android owners worldwide don't even do that on a regular basis, especially not when there are some tweaking videos to watch. If they do not read about these latest changes here or elsewhere, they will be totally in the dark.
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This is particularly relevant to a regular blogger at a tech website. He had lost his HTC One just a couple of weeks ago. He smartly used the Android Device Manager on his laptop to quickly locate his phone, which was left behind in a restaurant that was closed for that night. He didn't know exactly where the phone was left in the building or when the restaurant was going to open. So he used the Android Device Manager to lock his device by changing the screen password remotely. The next day he went back and found his phone untouched, safe, and requiring a new screen password to get started.
But if the blogger had lost his phone just a few days later from that incident, after the update 4.0.31, he wouldn't have been able to lock his phone anymore. And he wouldn't even come to know why! What happens to the other owners of affected Android devices who would be unable to lock and wipe their devices, which just might be a storing sensitive enterprise data?
Although Google Play Services update has not yet disabled Android Device Manager Features on all of the Android devices. In fact, the newly released Nexus 5 has received the same Google Play Services update, but does have the Android Device Manager activated, but it was disabled on the Nexus 7 tablet.