Earlier this year, Google quietly released the “Device Lock Controller” app for the Play Store. This is a way for credit providers to reduce the activity of the phone being financed if payments are missed.
Device Lock Controller allows device management for credit providers. Your provider may restrict access to your device if you do not pay. If your device is limited, basic functionality such as emergency calling and access to settings is still available.
This app is probably a must have, for any Affiliate, promoting any program. It is not clear whether this is pre-installed or whether retailers will ask customers to manually install and set it up as part of a payment plan.
A screen explains how the “provider” can “download and install the lender app” and “Disable debugging and user management features” to avoid these actions.
Meanwhile, customers can dial emergency numbers while retaining the ability to take “incoming and some outgoing calls”. Priority is given to “some” as it is limited to the communication carrier. In the meantime, you can always access the full settings app, as well as backup and restore your data.
It’s not clear who already uses Google’s Device Lock Controller app, but today there are only 10+ downloads. For example, Fi has just announced a Phone subscription program. This may be for Google MVNO or intended for interested third parties.
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