The Google Play infrastructure arguably still has a long way to go to catch up with offerings from fierce rival Apple, but some may argue it is already better with certain applications being available free and not restricted to Apple’s vetting process. Now though the search engine giant has provided a Google Play Private Channel for custom in-house applications.
Google has now offered a way for various companies to provide Android applications internally, which is something Apple has had for years, but now Google is finally stepping up to the plate with its own offering. To use the Google Play Private Channel companies need to have a Google Apps for Business, Education, or Government domain.
An administrator will have to enable Google Play Developer Console for its employees that are already registered as Google Play app publishers that will be distributing apps internally. Once applications have been uploaded via the Google Play Developers Console, company employees will then have access via the Google Play Private Channel.
They will have to login into their personal Google Apps accounts and their Android hardware, as currently logging in to Google Play via a Web browser doesn’t work as the Private Channel is only seen on Android devices.
Companies can simply have just one channel if they prefer but it must be named with the company’s name put into the Google Apps domain settings. For the time being Google doesn’t offer a way to publish to specific corporate groups, but the Developer Console does offer a way to limit apps by country or hardware model.
The latest offering from Google is also similar to what Microsoft offers with Windows Phone 8 with the Enterprise Marketplace app store for users wanting to offer a private app store for employees, but in the past there have been some concerns about the issues with security on the platform and its viability in the business sector.