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Google introduces “PRIVATE” app channel

December 4, 2012 - Written By Joe Levin

How would you like for your company to have their own internal Google play store? If the answer is YES then today is your lucky day. Earlier today Google announced a Play Store “private channel” making it easier for employees to access internal apps pre-loaded by your company. The possibilities here are endless. Imagine booking a conference room straight from your phone. How about putting in a help desk ticket? Now there’s no excuse for people getting “lost” on their way to another office because you can have a “Maps” app specifically tailored to your preferred locations.

Some other quick hits:

  • Apps can only be published to public OR private NOT both. However, to publish an app you own that’s currently on the public Google Play Store to your Private Channel, you can  change the publishing option to “restrict availability”.
  • The $25 registration fee still applies just like any other app.
  • You can still charge for your apps just like in the public Play Store.
  • Each Organization is only allowed ONE private channel. On your channel, you may allow multiple publishers in your organization to publish applications, and each publisher can operate independently.
  • You Can’t target a specific group of users but you can publish an app targeting a specific country or specific device models.
  • You need at least one published app on a Private Channel for it to show up on your users’ devices. A new app can take a few hours to appear on a Private Channel.
  • Currently, users can only view the Private Channel on their Android devices. The channel will show up as a title under Apps with your organization name. There is no web browser interface just yet.

Once these apps are uploaded, users need only to log in using their company email address to browse the channel and download the apps. The private channel even shows up on the main page along with tabs such as “Staff Picks” or “Recommended For You”.

As long as you’re a Google Apps for Business, Education, or Government customer you can learn more about how to create your organization’s own Google Play Private Channel in the Play Help Center.