Recommend and manage iOS apps

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

As an administrator, you can recommend and manage work apps for users with Apple® iOS® devices. You can create a whitelist of recommended apps to make them available for users to install. For more control over apps you whitelist, you can specify that the app is managed. 

About managed apps

How managed apps work

Specifying that an app is managed gives you more control over the app. Here’s how it works: 
  1. Using their corporate account, a user signs in to a Google mobile app (such as Gmail or Google Docs, Drive, or Calendar). 
  2. The user is prompted to install the Google Device Policy app.
  3. If any apps that you specified as managed are installed on the device, the user is asked to allow your organization to manage the apps.
  4. If the user accepts, you have control of the apps. For details, see What you can do with managed apps (below).
  5. If the user doesn’t accept within 24 hours, they lose corporate access to Google mobile apps on the device.

What you can do with managed apps

If an app is managed and a user removes the Device Policy profile on a device, you can remove the app from the device. You can also apply settings that control how the app is used. You can:

  • Prevent the app’s data from being backed up to Apple iCloud®.
  • Control whether users can trust apps they install from outside the Apple App Store® or Google Device Policy app.
  • Decide which apps can be used to open corporate documents and links.
  • Control whether managed apps can use mobile data to go online.

For more details, see Managed Apps.

Users can:

  • Install managed apps from the Device Policy app or the Apple App Store®.
  • Open the Device Policy app to see if an app is managed by your organization: 
    • Green checkmark—Managed. 
    • Gray checkmark—Unmanaged. 
    • Red exclamation—Managed, but the user hasn’t allowed your organization to manage it yet. 
You can manage the apps on the device until the user uninstalls the Device Policy profile (even if you change the app’s management settings or the user uninstalls and reinstalls the app).

Before you begin

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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. Select the app and click Continue.
  5. 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).

  6. If you want to have control of the app, check the Make this a managed app box. For details, see About managed apps (above).
  7. (Optional for managed apps) To remove the app from a device when a user removes the Device Policy profile, check the Remove app when MDM profile is removed box. 
  8. Click Save.
  9. (Optional) To view information about any of your whitelisted apps, next to the app, click More More and then Open in App Store.
  10. 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. If the app is managed, it will remain managed until the user removes the Device Policy profile from their device. Other users can still install the app from the App Store, but it won’t be managed. 

  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: Manage apps in your whitelist

Change an app’s management settings
  1. Follow the preceding steps to open your iOS app whitelist.
  2. Click the app whose management settings you want to change. 
  3. Next to the organizational unit or group that you want to change the settings for, click More Moreand then Edit configuration
  4. If you want to have control of the app, check the Make this a managed app box. For details, see About managed apps (above).
  5. (Optional for managed apps) To remove the app from a device when a user removes the Device Policy profile, check the Remove app when MDM profile is removed box. 

If you unchecked the Make this a managed app box, the app remains managed on devices until the user uninstalls the Google Device Policy profile (even they uninstall and reinstall the app).

Distribute a whitelisted app to specific users

This feature is available with G Suite Business and Enterprise editions. Compare editions

You can distribute an app to users in a specific organizational unit or group in Google Groups.

  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: Changes typically take effect in minutes, but 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: Changes typically take effect in minutes, but 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, apps are distributed to all users in your top-level organization.

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