Android Series: App Management
Enabling access to apps is at the heart of mobile productivity. Apps are becoming more and more critical to the daily operations of organizations and the productivity of mobile workers. Whether it’s mobile point of sale apps used in retail stores or expense reporting apps used while traveling, these apps are equipping employees with the experience they need, no matter where they are. VMware Workspace ONE is a digital workspace platform that enables centralized endpoint management and delivers any app – web, native, SaaS, and virtual – with one-touch access on any device. Google has solutions that complement the digital workspace to provide Android users with seamless access to apps – whether they are automatically installed or assigned on-demand to be manually installed from the Workspace ONE app catalog or managed Google Play.
What is managed Google Play?
To deliver business apps to end users on Android devices, Google developed managed Google Play. Deploying managed Google Play requires a unified endpoint management solution like Workspace ONE UEM, powered by AirWatch. In a single location, admins can approve and assign their most business-critical apps without having to navigate away from the Workspace ONE UEM console. To the end user, managed Google Play looks like the regular Google Play store, but it’s curated with just the business apps that IT preapproves. They get the same familiar experience as with the regular Google Play Store and can see reviews, images, and descriptions of the apps they are installing. On devices in work profile mode, the managed Google Play Store is badged with an icon signifying that it’s for work apps while on a fully managed device there is no badge since it’s the only Play Store on the device.
What are the options for deploying internal apps?
Many organizations develop their own apps to best meet their business needs. For organizations wanting to deploy internally developed apps, there are a few options. Apps can be hosted with Google Play using the Google Play developer console. When uploaded to Google Play, these apps will only be available to your organization and must be distributed by Workspace ONE UEM. Apps that are hosted with Google Play can be delivered to devices in work profile or fully managed device mode. Organizations that want to host their apps with Workspace ONE are able to upload their apps directly to the Workspace ONE UEM console. However, these apps will be installed silently or on-demand in the Workspace ONE app catalog – they will not be available in the managed Google Play store and they will only be delivered to fully managed devices.
And for internal apps, Google Play has alpha and beta testing features built-in. Through the Workspace ONE UEM console, administrators can assign alpha or beta apps to test groups so they can be vetted before being deployed in production.
How can apps be configured?
For organizations looking to simplify the user experience and provide an additional layer of security for apps, apps can be configured when deployed to Android enterprise devices. From the Workspace ONE UEM console, the administrator can set values for keys to be pushed into the app. Configuring apps with login information like URL, port and email address removes manual tasks from end users to increase adoption.
To learn more about app management on Android and see some of these features in action, watch episode 5 of the Android series:
Stay tuned for the next episode in the Android series covering the latest Android enterprise persona. If this is your first time watching, be sure to go back to episode 1: device administrator deprecation.