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Publish web apps as Managed Google Play apps outside Kiosk

A web app is an application that opens up in a web browser when the user tries to open it. It behaves like a native Android application and provides an easier way to manage websites on Android devices. When a user clicks on a web app, the URL associated with the app opens up in the device’s web browser.

You can publish internal web apps for all Android devices of your organization from Hexnode’s app repository. Managed web apps are only available to the users in your organization and cannot be made publicly accessible. However, you can distribute it to all the users of your organization just like you distribute Managed Google apps. You can access a managed web app outside the kiosk mode as well.

Pre-requisite:

Your devices should be enrolled as Android Enterprise (Device Owner or Profile Owner).

Publishing a web app

  1. Login to your Hexnode portal.
  2. Navigate to the Apps tab and click on + Add > Add App > Managed Google Apps to select individual apps, or select +Add > Add Group to select the required app groups.
  3. From the left-hand side menu, select Web Apps and click on the + icon to create a new web app.
  4. Provide the following details of the web app:
    • Title – A suitable title for the web app
    • URL – The URL of the website to be associated with the web app
    • Display – Select the display UI of the webpage from the following options:
      • Full Screen – The web app will use the entire screen.
      • Standalone – The phone’s navigation bar and the status bar will be visible in the web app.
      • Minimal UI – The phone’s navigation bar, status bar, URL bar and refresh button will be visible in the web app.
  5. Icon – A suitable icon for the web app
  6. Click on Create to create your managed web app.

It takes a few minutes to publish your web app. While the app is being published or if it fails, the web app will be listed as “Not available yet” on the Web Apps page.

Editing a web app

  1. Navigate to the Apps tab and click on + Add Apps > Managed Google Apps.
  2. From the left-hand side menu, select Web Apps and click on the web app you want to edit.
  3. Click on Edit.
  4. Make the required changes and save the web app.

Updates to a web app usually take effect in minutes. However, it may take up to 24 hours for the changes to be reflected across all your user devices.

Deleting a web app

  1. Navigate to the Apps tab and click on + Add Apps > Managed Google Apps.
  2. From the left-hand side menu, select Web Apps and click on the web app you want to edit.
  3. Click on Delete.

Deleting a web app removes it from the Managed Google Play Store and the app inventory as well. However, it may still be accessible from the devices on which the app has already been installed.

Associating the web app to your devices

You can distribute the web app to your devices as a Mandatory app using Policies:

  1. Navigate to Policies > New Policy > Android > Mandatory Apps.
  2. Click on +Add > Add App.
  3. Select the required web app and click on Done.

Navigate to the Policy Targets tab and select the required Devices/Device Groups/Users/User Groups/Domains to which the policy is to be associated.

The web app will get installed on the selected devices. Then, you can click on the web app to launch the URL in your default browser.

What happens at the device end?

After publishing a web app internally, you can distribute it to all the Android devices of your organization just like you distribute your Managed Google apps. The web apps get installed on the selected devices, and the user can handle it just like a native application. When the user clicks on the web app, the associated URL opens up in the default browser of the device.