Publish private apps

Note: If Google is your EMM provider, you can publish private apps from the Admin console. If you use a third-party EMM provider, you may be able to publish private apps from your EMM console. For more information, contact your EMM provider.  

To publish private apps from Play Console, you need to register for a Google Play Developer account. The account gives you the correct administrator privileges to upload and publish private apps to managed Google Play. You then use your EMM console to distribute these apps to users.

For private apps, you have to specify settings so that they're only available to users in your organisation and make them easy to find. You also have to specify certain settings if you're hosting the app, rather than Google. To upload and publish private apps, you only need an Android App Bundle or an Android application package (APK) and a title.

Register as a developer

To publish any private or public app, you must register as a Developer.

  1. Sign in to the Google Account that will act as the account owner for your developer account.
  2. Open Play Console to begin registration.
  3. Tick the agreement box to accept the Developer Distribution Agreement.
    • If your account has previously violated this agreement, you can't register as a Google Play developer.
  4. Go to Continue to payment.
  5. Pay the registration fee and click Accept and continue.
  6. Enter your Developer account details, including a Developer name which is the name that is displayed in Google Play.

It can take up to 48 hours for your Google Play Developer registration to be processed.

Publish to your own organisation

Once your app is restricted to organisations, your app will be private and will only be available to those organisations. If you want your app to be publicly available, you will need to publish a new app with a different package name.

Once it's published, your app will be available to search and distribute via your EMM console within a few minutes.

  1. Open Play Console.
  2. Go to All apps > Create app.
  3. Select a default language and add a title for the app.
    • The name should be exactly how you want it to appear in managed Google Play.
  4. Go to Release > Setup > Advanced settings.
  5. Select the Managed Google Play tab.
  6. In Organisations, click Add organisation.
    • For each organisation that you want to publish the app to, enter the organisation ID and a description (or name) and click Add. You can enter up to 1,000 organisations per app.
  7. Click Save changes.
  8. (Optional) Configure additional parameters for the app on other pages.
  9. Go to Release > Production to create a new release and upload your app bundle or APK.
  10. After confirming that all your app details are correct, you can click Start rollout to production to roll out your release.
Allow third-party developer publishing

If you use third-party developers (such as an agency or software development house) to create customised private apps for your organisation, you need to send them your organisation ID so that they can publish apps to your organisation.

To get your organisation ID:

  1. Open the managed Google Play Store.
  2. Go to Admin settings.
  3. Copy your organisation ID string from the organisation information box and send it to your developer.

Note: Third-party developers may be able to publish private apps directly from their development tools. For more information, see Publish private apps for your enterprise customers.

To publish a private app within a client's organisation (as a third-party developer):

If you’re an agency developer who wants to manage the publishing flow on behalf of your client, or if you’ve built an app for multiple organisation clients and don't want the app to appear in the public Play Store, you can use your clients’ organisation IDs to publish these apps directly to your client's organisations.

  1. Open Play Console.
  2. Use the organisation ID provided by your client, to publish the private app to your client's organisation.
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