Android Open Source Project has recently added an option that allows users to remotely brick their phones, making them unbootable. This new feature helps users who lost their smartphones make sure that no one can access the personal information stored on those devices.

The Change 235361 was merged into AOSP for the purpose of offering phone owners the option to brick devices remotely in case of theft or loss, according to XDA-Developers. The option lets manufacturers define which partitions can be remotely wiped, and it also gives phone owners the power to brick their handsets via recovery.

The process renders the phone useless to anyone who stole or found it. At this point, it’s unclear how the change will be incorporated in Android OS, but Google might decide to include the new feature in the Android Device Manager or even in the upcoming Android N.

Remote bricking could be featured in future Android OS versions

Remote bricking can stop unauthorized users from accessing personal information or even account details stored on the smartphone. However, you must be aware that remote bricking is the last resort, since the information previously stored on the phone cannot be recovered once the process is completed.

Android Device Manager is a useful feature that allows users to delete personal information from their phones, in case of loss or theft. Still, there are some workarounds that can recover the data. In the case of remote bricking, however, the phone is rendered unbootable, and all partitions on the Android device are securely erased, making it impossible to recover the data.

Considering that this feature would be provided widely on smartphones running Android OS, Google might actually incorporate an option for users to recover the device without any special hardware once they have it back. Nevertheless, remote bricking is the last resort and should only be used when the device is deemed unrecoverable.

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