Publish private apps from the Play Console

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 the 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 can then use your EMM console to distribute these apps to users.

You have to specify settings for private apps so that they're only available to users in your organization, and that they're 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, only an Android application package (APK) and a title is required. 

New private apps created after August 2021 can continue to be published with either Android App Bundles or APKs.

 

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. Go to the Google Play Console to begin registration.
  3. Check the agreement box to accept the Google Play Developer distribution agreement. If your account has previously violated this agreement, you can't register as a Google Play developer.
  4. Click 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 organization
Once your app is restricted to organizations, your app will be private and available to those organizations only. If you want your app to be publicly available, you will need to publish a new app with a different package name. 
  1. Open the Play Console.
  2. Click Add app and click 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 Organizations, click Add organization.
  7. For each organization that you want to publish the app to, enter the Organization ID and a description (or name) and click Add. You can enter up to 1000 organizations per app.
  8. Click Save changes.
  9. (Optional) Configure additional parameters for the app in other pages.
  10. Go to Release > Production to create a new release and upload your app bundle or APK. After confirming all your app details are correct, you can click Start roll out to production to roll out your release. For more information, see create and roll out a production release.

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

Allow 3rd party developer publishing

If you use 3rd party developers (such as an agency or software development house) to create custom private apps for your organization, you need to send them your Organization ID so that they can publish apps to your organization.

To get your Organization ID:

  1. Sign in to the managed Google Play store.
  2. Click Admin Settings.
  3. Copy your Organization ID string from the Organization information box and send it to your developer.

Note: 3rd 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 organization (as a 3rd 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 organization clients and don't want the app to show up in the public Play store, you can use your clients’ Organization IDs to publish these apps directly to your client's organizations.

  1. Sign in to the Play Console.
  2. Use the Organization ID provided by your client, to Publish the private app to your clients organization.
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