Tuesday , October 24 2017

Google Play Services update bringing Android Device Manager and Photo Sphere Compass mode

Google Play Services
It appears that a new update is being pushed to Google Play Services which is adding what seems to be the start of the announced Android Device Manager service as well as a compass mode into the Photo Sphere viewer.

The Android Device Manager function once installed shows up as an option in Settings > Security > Device Administrators. You can basically enable it or just leave it disabled as is the default, at least at this stage.

The announcement of the Android Device Manager service did list the ability to Factory Reset the phone remotely as well as giving you the ability to have it ring remotely or display its location on the map, but from the looks of the permissions in the screenshot above you may also be able to add security to the lockscreen it if you previously had none enabled.

The next update that’s been found in relation to the Google Play Services update can be found in a place that not many people look at and continues Googles Photo Sphere push – The addition of a ‘compass mode’ to the Photo Sphere viewer. When loading Photo Spheres you will now have a multi-direction arrow in the bottom left :

Photo Sphere Compass mode

Once you hit that compass mode button, you’re then able to move your device around to check out the image. Android Police linked to one commenter on Reddit that described an absolute perfect use case for compass mode when viewing a Photo Sphere in Google Glass.

The Google Play Services update, which Android Police advise is version 3.2.25 is being rolled out slowly to devices now, there does appear to be a couple of different versions of the update based on the screen resolution, as some have noticed the compass mode icon is lower resolution in some versions. The advise is that installing the update shouldn’t do any harm – you can always uninstall updates from the app, at any stage – however it also wouldn’t hurt to wait for it to be pushed to your device. If you’re interested, Android Police are hosting an array of mirrored versions of the file.

There isn’t a huge amount in the update, and it will probably take around a month to push to all eligible devices, which would tie-in with the official release of the Android Device Manager service that was promised ‘later this month’. The ability to find your device with the Android Device Manager service has certainly been something that has lagged behind iOS and it’s great to see that they’re finally catching up with a cloud service where Apple has, until now, held a huge lead.

 
Source: Android Police - Android Device Manager, and Android Police - Compass Mode.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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