Enterprise users can now deploy apps through Google Play Private Channel

by: J. Angelo RacomaDecember 5, 2012

BYOD is the in thing among enterprise users nowadays. If you’re not familiar with the term, then you’ve probably been living in a cave for the past couple of years or so. Basically, enterprises are moving away from proprietary devices or a limited set of devices, and are allowing employees to work, collaborate and communicate with their preferred “bring your own” devices.

Case in point: Yahoo!’s new CEO Marissa Mayer wants everyone to ditch their BlackBerry devices in favor of smartphones — a choice of either iPhone, Android or Windows Phone. But even as businesses allow employees to bring their own devices to work, sometimes companies will need to deploy a set of proprietary applications and programs. This might make it a bit difficult for IT departments to deploy apps to users devices.

iOS, for one, does not enable side-loading of applications without jailbreaking. Android users have it easier, as IT departments can simply distribute .APK files for installing on devices. But an update on Google Play makes it easier for enterprise users to install — and manage — their internal applications.

A new feature called Google Play Private Channel lets IT departments deploy apps through the official Android apps repository. All a user needs is a company email address to be able to install these apps. The system requires that your company runs Google Apps for business, education or government, which means it will be easier to tie everything into one ecosystem — Google’s.

Sure, Android users can easily side-load .APK files to install apps. But I see a few advantages with Private Channel.

  • Users who are not well-versed with side-loading apps will not have a difficult time installing apps.
  • Apps can be auto-updated (if enabled on Google Play).
  • Better security, since users are assured the app they are installing is an official one, and not a potentially dangerous .APK.

Non-enterprise users might not find this interesting at this point, but I can only imagine the possibilities. Private Channel enables organizations to run their own mini app stores and content repositories. This makes Google Apps an even more interesting suite of cloud-based applications for businesses, schools, government offices, and teams to use than, say, more closed systems like the iTunes App Store or BlackBerry AppWorld.

  • LinuxBoxSolutions

    Actually if you are an iOS developer they do provide a way to side load an application but you need the devices uuid which is found with itunes. You should get you information correct before writing articles like this.

    • Yes but not for and IT department. Show me when and where iTunes has this feature as I have Crapple devices in my house. Since I was backing app,e three years ago I haven’t seen or heard of this feature you mention sir.

    • I am not sure who is right or wrong here. I am an android user and have been one for long. I love it and would never switch over to apple products. While that being said I had recent opportunity to run iphone 4s side by side with S3. While have alot more options in s3 the speed and smoothness of the touch on the iphone in my opinion is better even with a lower hardware. Now one might argue of running multitasking but I have read in most places that even iphone supports it. And my bro was using backgrounder on his iphone and it runs tango viber and whatsapp in suspended state which most people use. So you cant argue of apple products arent as bad as they are made out to be on these websites

      • LinuxBoxSolutions

        oh I know I’m an Android user all the way but my wife is an Apple user but it makes me want to laugh at people when they write about things they don’t even know what they’re talking about so I try to educate people or I can is it in Saudi

        • exactly. This reply was to support your argument and how people write these articles they tend to take cheap shots at other products which is just wrong…

    • Actually you don’t even need the uuid. The Enterprise deployment method works fine without it. You build, sign and host it yourself. But you are right, the author of this article should check the facts before stating anything this wrong.