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How to Publish Private Apps in Google Play

Managed Google Play is the storehouse of enterprise applications for devices enrolled in the Android Enterprise program. It helps organizations to distribute their apps inside their firm without giving access to outsiders. You can achieve this by publishing the apps privately to the Managed Google Play. Administrators can publish private apps in the Google Play Console and distribute them to the work-deployed endpoints securely. Through Managed Google Play, the Hexnode MDM solution simplifies the remote deployment of enterprise apps.

Add private apps to the Managed Google Play Console

To publish a private app directly through Hexnode UEM, upload the private app to the Managed Google Play console.


  1. On your Hexnode MDM console, go to Apps > + Add Apps > Managed Google Apps.
  2. Click on Private Apps on the left side of the tab that pops up.
  3. Click on the ‘+‘ sign at the bottom right corner.
  4. Enter the Title for the app and upload its APK file.
  5. Click on Create.
  6. Enter your email address and click Ok.


publish private apps in the Managed Google Play console to be deployed on Android Enterprise devices

Your app will be created and will be ready for distribution in less than 10 minutes. However, for some apps, it may take more than 10 minutes.

The email address used to publish the app will be treated as the contact mail address to which the notifications about the apps and the Google Play Developer account will be directed. This email address can be updated at any time.

To update the email address,

  1. On your Hexnode MDM console, go to Apps > + Add Apps > Managed Google Apps.
  2. Click on Private Apps on the left side of the tab.
  3. Click on Update next to your contact mail address.
  4. Update the email address and click OK.

You can also update this app by replacing the app APK with that of the newest versions from Apps > Add Apps > Managed Google Apps > Private apps > app > Edit > edit > change the APK file > Save.

Notes:

  • You can upload up to 15 applications per day.
  • To publish apps on the Play Console via the MDM, you do not need a Google Play developer account.
  • When an app is published as a private app for the first time, Managed Google Play automatically creates a Play Developer account on behalf of the organization. The organization does not need to pay a registration fee for the created account.
  • Since these applications are published via the MDM console, they cannot be converted to public apps and cannot be transferred between different Play Developer accounts.


You can also publish a private app directly to the organizations’ Play Console account without the help of the MDM console by following the below-mentioned procedures.

Publish apps to Managed Google Play

Notes:

  • The organization or developer should have a Google Play Developer account to publish apps in Managed Google Play.
  • Title of the app must be unique to your developer account.
  • Package name must be unique to Google Play.


To create a Developer Account,
  1. Navigate to Google Play Console and sign in with your Google account. This user will be considered as the account owner for your developer account.
  2. Review and accept the Google Play Developer Distribution agreement.
  3. Click Continue to make Payment.
  4. After paying the one-time registration fee, click Accept and continue.
  5. Enter your development account details such as developer name, e-mail address, website, phone number and so on. Click on Complete Registration.

It may take up to 48 hours for the account registration to get processed.

To publish a private app to your organization,

  1. Log in to Google Play Console.
  2. Click on All apps > Create app.
  3. Select the default language and title for the application (this will be your app name displayed in Managed Google Play).
  4. Navigate to Release > Setup > Advanced settings.
  5. Now go to Managed Google Play tab. Click on Add organization in Organizations.
  6. Enter the Organization ID and description of every organization in which the app is to be published and click on Add. Each application can be assigned to a maximum of 1000 organizations.
  7. Click on Save changes.
  8. Create and rollout a production release when you wish to publish the app.

The app will be available for distribution via the MDM console within a few hours.

If the developer account that you used to publish the app is the Managed Google Play administrator account for your organization, then the app will be auto-approved. The administrators of the other additional target organizations should manually approve the private applications.

Create and roll out an app release

Step 1: Create and prepare a release

To start preparing the release,

  1. Go to the Google Play Console.
  2. Select Testing (Open testing, Closed testing or Internal testing) or Production as the track to create the release.
  3. Click on Create new release on the top right of the page.
  4. Opt-in for app signing by Google Play if you want Google to protect the app’s app signing key.
  5. Add the app bundle or APK.
  6. Type-in a release name and release note.
  7. Now click on Save. Once it is saved, click on Review release.

Step 2: Review and roll out the release

  1. On your Google Play Console, navigate to Releases Overview page.
  2. Click on the right arrow next to the release to be rolled out.
  3. roll out app releases

  4. This will open the Release details page. Click on View release dashboard.
  5. Click on Release > Edit.
  6. Review and make any changes, if required, before saving.
  7. Select Review release to ensure there are no errors in the release.
  8. If there are any errors in the release, they will be listed under Errors summary. Click on Show more to review and rectify these errors.
    Notes:


    App with identified errors cannot be published until those errors are corrected. If there are only warnings, minor errors or combinations of both, the app can be published. However, it is recommended to address those issues before publishing.

  9. Click on Start rollout to release the app. If the app is to be released on production, click on Start rollout to production.

Now review the release details. The details regarding the latest app release can be viewed from the table under “Latest releases” on your Releases overview page.