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How to Publish Private Apps in Google Play

Organizations can distribute their apps inside their firm without giving access to users outside the organization. This can be achieved by publishing the apps privately to the Managed Google Play.
Hexnode allows organizations to publish private apps directly to the MDM console, which can be seamlessly distributed to your devices using Enterprise app management solutions.
To publish a private app directly in Hexnode,

  1. 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 Google Play console account ID (Developer account ID) and click Ok.

Your app will be created and will be ready for distribution in less than 10 minutes.


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.

You can also publish a private app directly to your/organizations’ Play Console account by following the below-mentioned procedures.

Publish apps to Managed Play Store

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. 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.

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 (this will be your app name displayed in Managed Google Play). 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. Privately 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 upload up to 15 apps per day.
    • 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 Accept and then click Continue in the next pop up tab.
  14. Upload the APK and give a name and description for the release. Click Save.
  15. Once you have uploaded an APK, the details will be listed in the “APKs to add” section.
  16. Once the app is ready to be published, Select Review, where you will be presented with a summary of the app release.
  17. 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,
    • Sign in to your Managed Google Play account.
    • Search and find the app you wish to approve.
    • Click Approve.
    • 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.