While many of us use smartphones for fun, a good number of us use them for business and for employment as well. Being enterprise friendly is something that can make or break a platform. Early iOS had limited enterprise functionality, and as such, enterprise (for the most part) stuck with BlackBerry, though we’re now seeing that come to a grinding halt.
Android has always been a bit more enterprise friendly, offering tight integration with Microsoft Exchange and of course Google’s own solution, Google Apps.
One area that has been a bit trickier has been distributing internal apps – those applications that are specific just to your business that you don’t really want the whole world to see. Previously, you’d probably find these applications distributed by email or sideloaded in some other fashion, which isn’t particularly user friendly.
Enter stage left – Google’s Private Play Store for Google Apps.
This feature allows Apps administrators to enable a private channel for Apps users to distribute private applications within the enterprise, for example a company expense reporting tool or a room booking application. To enable this on the user side, the user need only add their Apps account to their device, and it will appear in the Play Store.
Apps administrators need only enable the Google Play Developer Console in their Apps domain settings, and only then for users that will actually be publishing apps to the private channel. The only caveat is that the people who you flag as being responsible for apps on your private channel must already be registered Android developers, but once that’s done, all administration of your private channel – including publishing apps, payment settings etc – is done through the Apps control panel, and not the Play Store.
Sounds like a smart move to me. We at Ausdroid might even look into this for distributing some of our internal apps to the team.
Will your business be using this?