Manage apps on iOS devices

If you have the legacy free edition of G Suite, upgrade to G Suite Basic to get this feature. 

As an administrator, you can securely manage work apps on an Apple® iOS® device and leave personal apps under the user’s control. You can create a whitelist of recommended apps to make them available for users to install.

How whitelisting works

You select apps from the Apple App Store® and add them to a whitelist. Users of iOS devices see a catalog of those apps and can install them on their device. 

When a user installs a whitelisted app, it’s managed by your organization. That means if someone leaves your organization, the app is removed when the user’s corporate account is removed from their device. You can also remove managed apps if a device is lost or stolen.

Before you begin

  • To manage apps for mobile device users, you need advanced mobile management. For details, see Set up advanced mobile device management.
  • Users need to install the Google Device Policy app to get managed apps. 
  • Once installed, managed iOS app icons have a green checkmark to distinguish them from personal apps. Apps that have a gray checkmark aren’t managed. 

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Step 1: Open your iOS app whitelist

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Device management.

    To see Device management, you might have to click More controls at the bottom.

  3. On the left, click App Management and then  Manage Applications for iOS devices.
  4. Click the link to manage iOS apps.
  5. Use the steps below to build and manage your whitelist. 

Step 2: Build your whitelist

Add an app
  1. Follow the preceding steps to open your iOS app whitelist.
  2. At the bottom right, click Add Add.
  3. Enter either the app name or the app URL (from Apple iTunes®) and click Search.
  4. (Optional) To see more information about an app, click the app's link.
  5. Select the app and click Continue.
  6. To whitelist the app for all users in your organization, select All users and click Continue. If you’re a G Suite Business or Enterprise customer, you can whitelist the app for a specific group of users. Select A specific organizational unit (OU) or group(s) and then select the organization or group that the users belong to. For details, see Distribute apps to specific users (below).

  7. (Optional) To view information about any of your whitelisted apps, next to the app, click More More and then Open in App Store.
  8. Have users install the Google Device Policy app to get whitelisted apps.

The app appears in the whitelist almost immediately. It might take up to an hour for the app to appear in the Google Device Policy app on users' devices.

Remove an app

When you remove an iOS app from your whitelist, it won’t be available for users to install from the Google Device Policy app. It will be uninstalled the next time the device synchronizes. However, users can still install the app from the Apple App Store®.

  1. Follow the preceding steps to open your iOS app whitelist.
  2. Choose an option:
    • Find the app you want to remove and click More  More and then Remove.
    • Hover over the app's icon to display a checkbox. Check the box (you can check multiple apps at once). In the top-right corner, click Delete Trash .
  3. Click Remove.

You see a message that the selected app has been removed from the whitelist.

Step 3: Distribute apps to specific users

You can distribute an app to users in a specific organizational unit or group in Google Groups. For more information, see Selectively distribute mobile apps.

Add users to an app’s distribution list
This feature is available with G Suite Business and Enterprise editions. Compare editions
  1. Follow the preceding steps to open your iOS app whitelist.
  2. Click the app you want to distribute. You see the organizations and groups the app is currently distributed to.
    Tip: To only see the apps that are whitelisted for a specific user or group of users, use the filters on the left. You can select an organizational unit, a group, or user. 
  3. To distribute the app to another group of users click Add More.
  4. Choose an option and click Continue
    • To distribute the app to users in an organizational unit, on the left, select Organizational Unit. Then select the name of the organizational unit from the list.
    • To distribute the app to users in a group, on the left, select Group, and start entering the name of the group. Select the group from the list.

    Note: The change typically takes effect in minutes, but it might take up to 24 hours to be reflected across all of your users’ devices. If you don’t select a specific organization or group, the app is distributed to all users in your top-level organization.

Remove users from an app’s distribution list
This feature is available with G Suite Business and Enterprise editions. Compare editions
  1. Follow the preceding steps to open your iOS app whitelist.
  2. Click the app whose distribution you want to change. You see the organizations and groups the app is currently distributed to. 
    Tip: To only see the apps that are whitelisted for a specific user or group of users, use the filters on the left. You can select an organizational unit, a group, or user. 
  3. Next to the organization or group you want to remove, click More More and then Remove OU or Remove group.
  4. Click Remove to confirm.

Note: The change typically takes effect in minutes, but it might take up to 24 hours to be reflected across all of your users’ devices. If you don’t select a specific organization or group, the app is distributed to all users in your top-level organization.

 
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