Distribute private apps

Private apps are automatically approved for your organization when they're published. They can be distributed just like public apps—you can use your EMM console to remotely install them on user’s devices or list them in your users' managed Play store app.

When searching for your private apps in managed Google Play, use the app's package name (if you know it) instead of its title. For example, enter pname:app.package.name in the search bar. 

Advanced private app distribution

In the Play Console, you can configure more advanced distribution options.

If you use the managed Play iframe, you need to publish your private app in the iframe before you can configure any of its advanced distribution details in the Play Console. For instructions on how to access the Play Console, see Edit advanced app details.

Distribute private apps to multiple organizations

A private app can be distributed to up to 1000 organizations. For example, if you maintain multiple environments (e.g. testing, staging, production) as separate organizations, you can distribute the same private app to each organization.

Step 1: Get Organization IDs

To make a private app available to additional organizations, you need each organization's ID:

  1. Sign in to managed Google Play using an administrator account.
  2. Click Admin Settings.

The Organization ID is listed in the Organization information box.

Step 2. Add Organization IDs to your app's target distribution list

Once your app is restricted to certain 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. 

In the Google Play Console:

  1. Select the private app you want to edit.
  2. Go to Release > Setup > Advanced settings.
  3. Select the Managed Google Play tab.
  4. In Organizations, click Add organization.
  5. 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.
  6. Click Save changes.

Distribute private apps for closed testing

After you publish a private app, you can create additional closed test tracks to test different versions of the app. For example, you might have different development teams that need to address bugs across different features. If each team creates their own testing track, features can be worked on at the same time.

To learn how to create closed test tracks, see Set up an open, closed, or internal test.

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