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How can I make my phone/tablet ring remotely without a SIM card?

There are many Android devices in our office which we use for application development and QA. Finding a particular device is sometimes necessary, but requires walking around asking who has it.

Is there some way to track where a particular device might be in an office environment? Either an app on the device or some way to listen on the computer it was most recently plugged in to (via ADB), for example. Hopefully something with minimal user interaction, otherwise nobody would ever actually do it.

I haven't tried anything specific yet. Just looking for ideas on which way to go. I'm pretty sure GPS is not nearly accurate enough for such a setting, and that's the only real idea I've had.

  • 1
    Assuming these are phones, have you tried just ringing it?
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:58
  • Unfortunately, we don't have phone plans for all of the devices. We only have a few SIM cards which get swapped out as necessary.
    – Ed Marty
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:11
  • Phone-grade GPS definitely won't be accurate enough. This sounds more like a people/process problem -- you should have a signout system. adb devices gives per-machine names, I believe, so that's not overly useful. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Do you have Wi-Fi connections active on these devices? If so, you could create a service that allows a remote web application to cause the device to chirp/make a sound similar to a ring. That web application could contain a list of phones and potentially even allow you to checkout devices etc through the same interface. Not an entirely trivial solution, but you could probably whip something up in a day or two.

  • Well, this is the best solution I've seen so far. I hadn't thought about having the device make a sound.
    – Ed Marty
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:48

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