Android App Management

Overview

This section explains the workflow of App management for Android devices.

Google Play Store apps for Android devices:

Apps designed for Android devices are listed here. 'Google Play Store' has thousands of apps, from which we can choose and upload apps into the App Repository. You can also add free apps to the App Repository which can be further distributed to the Devices/Groups. Refer this, to know more about adding Play Store Apps in the App Repository

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Enterprise apps for Android:

You can add an Enterprise app in the App Repository which can be distributed only to Android devices. These apps are added in the App Repository by uploading the .apk file in the Mobile Device Manager Plus. Refer this, to know more about adding Android Enterprise apps in the App Repository. Enterprise apps can also be published as private store apps using the Google Play console. To test and deploy Android enterprise apps seamlessly refer to this link.

  • Enterprise apps distributed via MDM can be installed on the device, even if Play Store is restricted. To install enterprise apps without user intervention, refer to this.
  • In case you've added an unsigned enterprise app and have issues installing the same, it is recommended to have the app signed by the developer. To know more about app signing, click here. If you’re unable to install a signed enterprise app to the App Repository, you can file an appeal here.
  • It is recommended the app size doesn't exceed 1.5 GB. Further, MDM also recommends to upload only signed APK and also, ensure the existing APK and the updated version of the APK have the same signature but different version code and version name.
  • In case you distribute the app to the App Catalog instead of silently installing the app, the device user can uninstall the distributed app, which is by default restricted in case of apps silently installed.
  • In certain cases, the apps distributed after configuring AfW might take additional time before silently initiating installation on the devices to which the app has been distributed.
  • If the MIUI optimization is turned on in Xiaomi devices, it could cause enterprise app installation failure in these devices. It is recommended to turn off MIUI optimization on these devices by navigating to Settings ->Build Number. Tap the build number 6 to 8 times to enable Developer Mode and turn off MIUI optimization.

For devices provisioned as Profile Owner, different versions of the same application cannot exist, both inside and outside the work profile / container.

Android for Work - App Management

This section explains the workflow of App Management in Android for Work. Android for Work supports installing any app(Both enterprise and Play Store) without any user intervention. To install enterprise Android apps silently, refer to this. Besides being able to install apps without any user intervention, MDM ensures users cannot uninstall these silently installed apps. This holds good for devices provisioned as Device Owner, Profile Owner, and for Samsung devices as well. The only pre-requisite for Play Store apps, is the apps should be approved before pushing the apps to the managed devices. The steps to approve apps are as follows:

After approving the apps, go to MDM Web Console, click Device Management -> App Repository -> Sync Apps -> Sync Play Store Apps under the Apps tab to sync the approved apps. After syncing, the apps are ready to be pushed to the user accounts.

The apps can be arranged in the Play Store, catering to the needs of the organization by customizing the Play Store.

In case app installation hasn't been initiated/completed on the device, it is recommended to troubleshoot managed devices as explained here.

Android for Work App Management FAQs

Can I install apps in devices without signing up in Play Store?

Yes, you can install apps as explained here.

Can user manually update the AfW-provisioned apps installed in the devices?

Yes, users can manually update the apps through Play Store. Further, the apps can also be updated by distributing the latest version of the app present in the App Repository to the devices.

Why am I unable to install AfW-provisioned apps in the devices?

This happens when new permission(s) are provisioned in the app. Login to Google Play for Work and click on Updates. In this section, any approved app, with new permissions is listed. Click on Accept, to approve the newly added permissions. Now redistribute the app to the devices.




In case of apps which have been used in policies(such as Kiosk etc.) have an update available, it is recommended to test the updated version of the app standalone as well as test its functionality when used in policies before deploying it across the enterprise.

Publish enterprise apps as private Google Play apps

Private apps can be silently installed in the managed devices by using a Google Developer account. A lifetime license for this account can be obtained with a one-time registration fee. This account provides the correct administrator privileges to upload and publish private apps to managed Google Play. The apps can then be distributed to the managed devices using MDM. Follow the given procedure:

Troubleshooting Tips

See Also: Configure Mobile Device Manager Plus, Device Enrollment, Location Tracking,App Management, Profile Management, Asset Management, Security Management, Reports
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