Publish and manage private apps

Note: This feature isn't offered by all EMM providers. If you'd like to use this feature, contact your EMM provider.

Private apps are Android apps that your organization develops to distribute internally using managed Google Play. They aren’t visible or available to users outside your organization.

Managed Google Play’s Private apps feature lets you publish private apps directly from your EMM’s console without using the Google Play Console (which requires a $25 USD registration fee). The publication form is also simpler—the only details you need to provide are an app's title and APK, and apps are typically ready for distribution within 10 minutes.

Publish a private app

When you publish a private app for the first time, your EMM console creates a Google Play developer account on behalf of your organization. Private apps are automatically approved for your organization and are typically ready for distribution within 10 minutes. You can upload up to 15 private apps per day.

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. At the bottom, click Create Create.
  3. Enter a title.
  4. Select an APK and click Open.
  5. Click Create.

The first time you publish a private app, you’ll need to provide an email address to receive notifications from the Play Console about your apps and Google Play developer account. You can update your contact email at any time.

Edit the title or APK of an app

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. Select the private app you want to edit.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Update the title or click edit to upload a new APK.
  5. Click Save.

Update your contact email

Note: Your contact email is different than the email shown in your private apps' store listing. To update a private app's store listing, see Edit advanced app details.

The Play Console sends notifications about your apps and Google Play developer account to your contact email. To update your contact email:

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. Next to your contact email address, click Update.
  3. Enter a new email address.
  4. Click OK.

    Any future notifications from the Play Console will be sent to the updated email address.

Delete a private app

If you delete an app, the app will be removed from your Play Console account. You won’t be able to republish the app or reuse its package name. Deleted apps aren’t available for new users to find and download in managed Google Play, but existing users can still use them. To delete an app:

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. Select the private app you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.
  4. In the dialog box, click Delete to confirm that you want to delete the app.

Edit advanced app details

To add a description, screenshots, and other advanced app details, or unpublish an app, you need use the Google Play Console. You can access the Google Play Console from the Private apps feature:

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. Select the private app you want to edit.
  3. Click Make advanced edits.
  4. Using a Google Account, sign in to the Play Console.
    Note: Your account will be added as an admin of your organization's Play Console account. You can use this account in the future to sign into the Play Console.
  5. On the Store listing page, make any edits and click Submit Update.

Unpublish an app

Unlike deleted apps, you can republish an unpublished app. If you unpublish an app, existing users can still use your app. Your app won’t be available for new users to find and download in managed Google Play. To unpublish an app:

  1. On the left, click Private apps private apps.
  2. Select the private app you want to unpublish.
  3. Click Make advanced edits.
  4. Sign in to the Play Console with a Google Account.
    Note: Your account will be added as an admin of your organization's Play Console account. You can use this account in the future to sign into the Play Console.
  5. Select Store presence and then Pricing & distribution.
  6. In the App Availability section, select Unpublish.

Manage Play Console admins

You can manage the users who have access to your organization’s Play Console account. To ensure your domain retains access to published apps in case an employee leaves the organization, we recommend that administrators create dedicated role accounts.

FAQ

Can I convert a private app to a public app?
No. Apps published through this feature can’t be made public.

I already have a Play Console account. Can I use this feature to manage my existing private apps?
No. It's not possible to transfer private apps created through this feature.

Can I publish an app to both the public Google Play store and as a private app?
No. This functionality is not supported

Can I publish an existing app as a private app?
No. Google Play does not allow duplicate applications in the store. However, you can give your users access to any public app by whitelisting it and making it available via the managed Google Play Store. Your users can then access all their work related apps (both public and private) from the managed Play Store.

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