Mobile apps have worked their way into many different corners of everyday life, and the business world is no exception. So it was only a matter of time before companies began building their own mobile apps for internal use.
Now, Google has announced a new feature that will give businesses the option to create private Google Play channels to distribute Android apps for internal use to employees.
To take advantage of this option, you simply sign up as an administrator with Google Apps for Business in order to gain access to the Google Play developer console. Then you can create a private channel to upload, host and distribute apps to employees.
Of course this does still require the know how to actually build a mobile app, but this new feature makes it possible for developers to make their apps only available to a specific group of Android users, rather than having to release it to the public Google Play store.
The Google Apps user who sets up the administrator account on the private channel does need to be registered in the same domain as the business account, such as private IT staff members, rather than external or freelance developers. And each business is only allowed one private channel at this time, even if it has multiple domains registered.
The photo above shows how employees can easily locate the private channel registered to their company’s domain within the Android app store, and then how they can browse and choose from their company’s list of internal apps.
This new option could be useful for businesses that want to use apps for things such as expense reporting or internal collaboration functions. All it takes is an IT department with the ability to build apps and then Google has made the rest of the process pretty simple.
All of the regular features and responsibilities of Google Play publishers still apply to administrators of these private channels, and the one-time $25 publisher registration fee still applies.