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How to Publish Private Apps in Google Play

Your organization may require distributing your apps to the users within the organization. However, these apps should not be available to the users outside the organization. This can be achieved by publishing the apps privately to the Managed Google Play.

Private Apps are the apps that are published to the Managed Google Play. Managed Google Play is a version of the Google Play which lets you to distribute apps internally within an organization. Users with access to Managed Google Play can then download and use these private apps. However, an Enterprise Mobility Management solution can be used to efficiently distribute these apps to the users within an organization.

If you are publishing a private app, you must specify certain settings so that they are easily available to the members of your organization. Once you have published your private app, you can distribute the apps via Hexnode MDM.

To publish an app to Google Play Store, you need to have a Google Play developer account.

The following instructions explain how to register for a Google Play developer account and publish apps via this account.

Create a Developer Account

  1. To begin registration, go to Google Play Console and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Accept the Google Play Developer agreement.
  3. Click Continue to make Payment.
  4. After making the payment, 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.

Publish apps to Managed Play Store

Notes:

  • Title of the app must be unique to your developer account.
  • Package name must be unique to Google Play.


To publish a private app to your organization,

  1. Log in to Google Play Console.
  2. Click on All Applications > Create Application.
  3. Select the default language and title for the app. Click on Create.
  4. Navigate to pricing and distribution and select Managed Google Play.
  5. Under User Programs > Managed Google Play Settings, enable the options,
    1. Turn on advanced managed Google Play features.
    2. Target this app to a list of organizations.
  6. Click on Choose Organizations.
  7. Input the organization ID and name for each organization you wish to publish the app to. Click Add.
  8. Note:

    You can enter up to 20 organizations per app.

  9. Click Done.
  10. Next, you need to create a release. Click on Release Management > App releases.
  11. If this is your first release, the page will be empty. You need to choose the track(alpha, beta, production) through which you wish to upload the app and click on Manage.
  12. Select Create Release to create a new release.
  13. Click on the Upload apk. Name and describe the release. Click Save.
  14. Once you have uploaded an APK, the details will be listed in the “APKs to add” section.
  15. Once the app is ready to be published, Select Review, where you will be presented with a summary of the app release.
  16. If you do not have any errors, select Confirm Rollout to release your app.

If successful, the app will appear in the list of applications published by the developer.

The flow is slightly different when you are updating an app. Once you create a new release, the apks of the previous release will be added to APKs to deactivate list. Click Retain if you want to retain an old apk. Such APKs will be added to APKs to retain list.

  • If the developer account and the administrator account for your organization are the same, then the app gets approved automatically for your organization.
  • Otherwise, the admin must manually approve the apps. To approve an app manually,
    1. Sign in to your Managed Google Play account.
    2. Search and find the app you wish to approve.
    3. Click Approve.
    4. Click Done.
  • If you are using 3rd party developers to create private apps for you, then you must provide your Organization ID to them so that they can publish apps to your organization.

The app will be available for distribution within a few hours.

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