The managed Google Play Store is the recommended way to manage all your application deployment for Android devices. Managed Google Play loads with the Google play iframe in the Workspace ONE UEM console whenever a public application is added and when an Android Enterprise EMM Registration is configured. The Google play iframe opens through the API integration with Google Play and is not hosted by VMware.

Deploy Public Applications through Managed Google Play Store

Search the Google Play Store directly from the console to add applications to the Managed Google Play Store for your users.
  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu.
  3. Select one of the following options to add an application:
    Setting Description
    Search App Store Select to search for the application in the app store. Google Play launches within the console through an iframe.
    Enter URL Enter the public Google Play URL of the app to assign to Hub Registered Devices.

    Apps entered using this option can be converted to Android Enterprise apps. To convert the app for deployment to Android Enterprise devices, either use the Search App Store method to search and approve the app, or directly approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and then use the Import from Play option.

    Import From Play Select to import previously approved applications.
  4. Select Next or enter the Name of the applications you want to add to the integration. Google Play can open directly from the console.
  5. Find desired apps by using the Search text box or browsing through the apps section.
  6. Review the permissions the application requires on the device, and select Approve.
  7. Future updates to the application might require further permissions on the device. If you choose to approve the updates automatically and allow them to be pushed to devices, consider selecting Keep approved when app requests new permissions.If an application is updated, ensure it does not need to get approved in the Google Play Store.
  8. Configure options on the Details tab.
    Setting Description
    Name View the name of the application.
    View in App Store View the store record for the application where you can download it and get information about it.
    Categories

    Use categories to identify the use of the application.

    You can configure custom application categories or keep the application's pre-coded category.

    Supported Models Select all the device models that you want to run this application.

    Is App Restricted to Silent Install

    Android

    Assign this application to those Android devices that support the Android silent uninstallation feature.

    However, you can control what applications you push to your Android standard devices or your Android enterprise devices. Android enterprise devices support silent activity.

    Managed By View the organization group (OG) that the application belongs to in your OG hierarchy.
  9. (Optional) Assign a Required Terms of Use for the application on the Terms of Use tab.

    Terms of use state specifically how to use the application. They make expectations clear to end users. When the application pushes to devices, users view the terms of use page that they must accept to use the application. If users do not accept the terms of use, they cannot access the application.

  10. Select the SDK tab and assign the default or custom SDK Profile and an Application Profile to the application. SDK profiles apply advanced application management features to applications.
  11. Select Save & Assign to configure flexible deployment options for the application.

Deploy a new Private Application through Managed Google Play Store

You can publish applications developed by your organization or the applications that are developed for your organization can be hosted and distributed through the Managed Play Store. While adding a public app on an organization group with Android Enterprise enabled, the iframe is loaded and the private apps are available in the left menu. Additional information such as a description, images, and more can be added in the Advanced options after uploading. These applications are visible to devices managed by the enterprise, and they aren't public outside the enterprise.
Note: Private apps uploaded through the iframe can never be visible in the public Google Play Store. If the application may eventually be made public outside your organization, it is recommended to publish the application directly in the Google Play Developer Console instead of using the iframe.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure that your Workspace ONE environment is registered to Android Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM).
  • The APK file with the same application ID is not published in the Android public play store.
  • Google publisher account have a limit of 15 APKs per day. Which means, you can only upload up to 15 applications per day.
  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu. Leave the Name blank and select NextGoogle Play console opens directly from the console.
  3. Access the Private Apps from the left menu.
  4. Click the “+” icon to add a new application and select Upload APK.
    Note:
    • Uploading through the iframe publishes the application in as little as 10 minutes and waives the one-time fee that is charged to create a Google Developer account.
    • Private applications can never be uploaded more than once as the Google Play ensures that each of the application has a unique package name.
    • Deleted Private applications cannot be reuploaded with the same package name. Delete the private applications only if you never want to use the same package name again. The package name is a unique name to identify a specific app.
    Application is displayed in the Private app section and a notification may take up to 10 minutes. You can now close this screen. The application is listed under the Public apps.
  5. (Optional) You can edit the logo that is displayed in the UEM console by using the pencil icon beside the application.
  6. Select Assign and Add Assignment.
  7. Select the organization group or the smart group you like to assign the app to and click Add.
  8. In the Update Assignment window, click Save and Publish to confirm.
  9. Publish the app assignment.If the deployment is set to Automatic, the application gets installed automatically on the device and is displayed in both the console and your device.

Deploy Custom Testing Tracks before releasing the Production Version

Sometimes you may want to test your application and fix any technical or user experience difficulties with minimal user impact, and later select to release the best version of your application to most users. console provides you with the ability to test and deploy any number of custom releases before releasing the production version.

Supporting custom release of the application lets organizations test third-party apps, and any private apps they develop in-house. You can publish applications to the custom testing tracks in the Google Play console and then assign the applications to smart groups.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure you have the APK file for the new version you want to publish.
  • If there are multiple devices registered to one user but assigned to different tracks, navigate to Groups and Settings > Devices & users > Android > Android EMM Registration > Enrollment Settings and set the Work Managed Enrollment Type as Device-Based. The setting ensures that a different GoogleID record is generated per device, and so different app versions from the Managed Play console can be assigned.
  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu. Leave the Name blank and select Next.Google Play console opens directly from the console.
  3. Access the Private Apps from the left menu.
  4. Select the Private application for which you want to add the custom release for testing.
  5. Click Make advanced edits under Advanced editing options.
  6. You are directed to the Google Play console login page. In the Google Play console, complete the following steps to create Closed Test Track of the application.
    1. Log in to the Google Play console using the google account tied to your Workspace ONE tenant. Go to your app and navigate to Release management > App release. Select Create Closed Track.
    2. Under Organizations, click Edit.
    3. Select the organization corresponding to the Workspace ONE organization group and click Done.
    4. Click Create Release.
    5. Add the APK file.After adding the APK file, you can see details about the version code and size of the file.
    6. Click Save at the bottom of the screen, then Review.View any of the warning messages and make necessary changes to the app, as requested.
      Note: It is safe to ignore a warning message about the testers, as it is defined though Workspace ONE later.
    7. Click Start Rollout and Confirm the rollout.
  7. In console, select the application from Resources > Apps > Native.
  8. Click Assign and Add Assignment.
  9. Select the Assignment Group for the new custom release of your application.
  10. In the Distribution tab, select the closed testing track that you have created from the Pre-release Version drop-down as per your deployment.
  11. Click Save and Publish.
  12. Click Publish to confirm the assignment. The version corresponding to the rules in step 11a is made available to appropriate groups.

Deploy Private Applications to multiple servers

You can create private applications for your organization and deploy them to multiple servers.

To publish private applications from the Google Play Console, you must register for a Google Play developer account. The account gives you the correct administrator privileges to upload and publish private applications to managed Google Play. You can then use console to distribute these applications to users.
  1. In your console server#1, navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu. Leave the Name blank and select Next. Google Play console opens directly from the console.
  3. Access the Private Apps from the left menu.
  4. Select the private application for which you want to add multiple servers.
  5. Click Make advanced edits under Advanced editing options.
    1. Sign in to the Google Play Console.
    2. Go to Pricing & Distribution > User programs > Managed Google Play.
    3. Click Choose Organizations.
    4. For each organization that you want to publish the application to, enter the Organization ID.
    5. To get the Organization ID of your Workspace ONE server, complete the following steps:
      1. Sign in to the Managed Google Play store using the Google account that is associated with the server#2 (Android EMM Registration instance) for which you want to make the private app available.
      2. Click Admin Settings.
      3. Copy the Organization ID string from the Organization information box.
    1. Paste the Organization ID, add a description (or name) and click Add.
    2. Click Done.
When you are ready to publish your application, you can either create and rollout a production release or an alpha/beta track. After your application is published, you can create releases or set up a staged rollout.

Deploy Web Applications through Managed Google Play Store

Web applications are shortcuts on android devices that the users can open to navigate to the pre-defined URLs. They are installed in a silent mode. Web applications can be managed on the android devices similarly to public applications. Web apps requires Google Chrome to function and is managed as a public application. To do so, administrators need to set the title, URL, display mode, and the icon. The managed Google Play store loads in an iframe that creates a Web App object that is treated by the Google Play, and the Android OS as if it were a Public application.

Note: You can create up to 15 new web apps per day.
  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu.
  3. Select Search App Store to search for the application in the app store. Leave the Name blank and select Next. Google Play opens directly from the console.
  4. Access the Web Apps from the left menu.
  5. Create a Web App.
    1. Enter the Title and URL.
    2. Select the Display Mode.
    3. Upload the Icon.
    4. Select Create.
    5. After you Save the Web App, select the Back arrow at the top-left of the screen.
      Note: Approximately it takes close to 30 minutes for the app to be available. Once the app is available, it takes close to 10 minutes to publish a web application.
  6. Select the Web App.
  7. Choose the Select option at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Select Save & Assign to configure flexible deployment options for the Web App.
    Note: Publishing the web application creates the application. However, publishing to users does not happen until you assign the application within the console.

Add Assignments and Exclusions to your Android Applications

Adding assignments and exclusions provides you flexible deployment process and let's you schedule multiple deployment scenarios for a single application. After you approve the application from the Google Play Store, you will be redirected to the Workspace ONE UEM console to assign the applications to smart groups on the assignment tab. You can add a single assignment or multiple assignments to control your application deployment and prioritize the importance of the assignment by moving its place in the list up for most important or down for least important. Also,you can also exclude groups from receiving the assignment.

  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Native > Internal or Public.
  2. Upload an application and select Save & Assign or select the application and select Assign from the actions menu.
  3. On the Assignments tab, select Add Assignment and complete the following options.
    1. In the Distribution tab, enter the following information:
      Setting Description
      Name Enter the assignment name.
      Description Enter the assignment description.
      Assignment Groups Enter a smart group name to select the groups of devices to receive the assignment.
      Deployment Begins On Deployment Begins On is available only for internal applications.Set a day of the month and a time of day for the deployment to start.

      For successful deployment consider traffic patterns of your network before you set a beginning date with bandwidth.

      App Delivery Method
      • On Demand – Deploys content to a catalog or other deployment agent and lets the device user decide if and when to install the content.

        This option is the best choice for content that is not critical to the organization. Allowing users to download the content when they want helps conserve the bandwidth and limits unnecessary traffic.

      • Automatic – Deploys content to a catalog or other deployment Hub on a device upon enrollment. After the device enrolls, the system prompts users to install the content on their devices.

        This option is the best choice for content that is critical to your organization and its mobile users

      Auto Update Priority

      The Auto Update Priority setting is only available for public Android applications. With this setting, you have control over app updates and the flexibility to update different applications at varying rates.

      Use this setting to specify whether to immediately push updates to specific apps on devices while deferring updates to another group of apps.

      • Default - If a Public App Auto Update profile has been pushed to a device, the app follows the global policy defined in this profile on the device. If no Public App Auto Update profile is pushed to an assigned device, the app follows the Android default behavior on the device.
      • High Priority - Apps are quickly updated as soon as the updates are published and approved by Google Play. This setting overrides any Public App Auto Update Profiles pushed to assigned devices.
      • Postpone - Apps are not automatically updated for the first 90 days after they become out of date. This setting overrides any Public App Auto Update Profiles pushed to assigned devices.

      Consider this example to better understand the feature.

      Some of your employees operate in tightly regulated industries. To ensure that applications developed by third parties comply with industry standards, you might want to test new app versions before deploying them to your device users.

      In this case, you can set a Public App Auto Update Profile that prevents automatic updates for all Managed Play Store applications. For apps that should update automatically, such as those developed internally, you can create exceptions by setting Auto Update Priority to High Priority.

    2. In the Restrictions tab, enter the following information:
      Settings Descrption
      Managed Access Enable adaptive management to set Workspace ONE UEM to manage the device so that the device can access the application.

      Workspace ONE controls this feature and is not supported by the AirWatch Catalog.

    3. In the Tunnel tab, enter the following information:
      Setting Description
      Android Legacy Select the Per-App VPN Profile you like to use for the application and configure a VPN at the application level.
    4. In the Application Configurations tab, activate the following setting.
      Setting Description
      Send Configuration Send application configurations to devices.
  4. Select Create.
    Note:

    Few important points regarding application configuration:

    • The app assignment for pre-existing apps must be modified. A new assignment may be required if a custom configuration was previously included.
    • When new versions of the app are uploaded to the console, the available configurations are automatically updated.
    • To modify a configuration, edit the assignment and make the changes to the application configuration. Save and Publish the app again.
    • To receive the managed application configuration for the internal applications, the devices require Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub 22.04 or later.
  5. Select Add Assignment to add new app assignments for your application.
  6. Configure flexible deployment settings for your application by editing the schedules and priority for your deployments. Options that are displayed on this window are platform-specific.
    Setting Description
    Copy From the ellipses-vertical, you can click copy if you choose to duplicate the assignment configurations.
    Delete From the ellipses-vertical, you can delete to remove the selected assignment from the application deployment.
    Priority

    You can modify the priority of the assignment you configured from the drop-down menu while placing the selected assignment in the list of assignments. Priority 0 is the most important assignment and takes precedence over all other deployments. Your devices receive all the restrictions distribution policies and the app configuration policies from the assignment group which has the highest priority.

    If a device belongs to more than one smart group and you assign these smart groups to an application with several flexible deployments, the device receives the scheduled flexible deployment with the most immediate Priority. As you assign smart groups to flexible deployments, remember that a single device can belong to more than one smart group. In turn, one device can be assigned to more than one flexible deployment for the same application.

    For example, if Device 01 belongs to Smart Group HR and Smart Group Training. You configure and assign two flexible deployments for application X, which include both Smart Groups. Device 01 now has two assignments for application X.

    • Priority 0 = Smart Group HR, to deploy in 10 days with On Demand
    • Priority 1 = Smart Group Training, to deploy now with Auto

    Device 01 receives the priority 0 assignment and gets the application in 10 days because of the assignments priority rating. Device 01 does not receive the priority 1 assignment.

    Assignment Name View the assignment name.
    Description View the assignment description.
    Smart Groups View the assigned smart group.
    App Delivery Method View how the application pushes to devices. Auto pushes immediately through the AirWatch Catalog with no user interaction. On Demand pushes to devices when the user initiates an installation from a catalog.
    EMM Managed Access View whether the application has adaptive management enabled.
  7. Select the Exclusions tab and enter smart groups, organization groups, and user groups to exclude from receiving this application.
    • The system applies exclusions from application assignments at the application level.
    • Consider the organization group (OG) hierarchy when adding exclusions. Exclusions at a parent OG do not apply to the devices at the child OG. Exclusions at a child OG do not apply to the devices at the parent OG. Add exclusions at the desired OG.
  8. Select Save & Publish.

Add Web Links for Android Devices from the Workspace ONE UEM console

Web links applications function much like an application on a device. Web Links are also known as shortcuts. They provide end users a way to access a URL directly from an icon on the menu of their device. The end user sees the web links application icon and title, selects the application, and connects directly to a specified URL. Web links applications are useful for navigation to extended URLs with many characters. They require manual user approval to add the short-cut to the home screen. You can place web links application icons on the springboard. These icons connect end users to internal content repositories or login screens, so end users do not open a browser and enter a long URL. Web Links can use a custom URI to open specific browsers and is managed as a profile, rather than Web Apps which must use the Chrome Browser.

You can add web links as an application in the Resources section of the Workspace ONE UEM console. For more information, see Add Web Links Applications.

Organizing your Applications in the Managed Play Store

Administrators can simplify access to recommended applications by adding applications into collections which are displayed as rows on the managed Play Store. After enabling this feature, there is a minimum requirement of one collection at all times. Apps which have not been assigned to a collection can only be found in the managed Play Store using the search functionality.

Once an environment has begun using collections, the managed Google Play cannot be reverted to an earlier state. Because the change to collections cannot be rolled back, customers are highly encouraged to test the feature in a sandbox environment to ensure it aligns with the desired end-user experience and functionality before rolling it out to any production environments.

  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu.
  3. Select Search App Store to search for the application in the app store. Leave the Name blank and select Next. Google Play opens directly from the console.
  4. Access the Organize Apps from the left menu.
  5. Create collections and add apps to your collection to set the Play Store layout.