Google Play now lets businesses host their own app stores

Companies using Android for business have a powerful new app distribution tool.

Google announced Tuesday that companies with their own in-house Android applications can now distribute them internally via the new Private Channel feature of the Play Store.

MORE SMARTPHONES: Qualcomm aims to bring quad-core phones to the masses

"Whether you've built a custom expense reporting app for employees or a conference room finder, the Google Play Private Channel is designed to make your organization's internal apps quick and easy for employees to find. Once your company has loaded these internal apps using the Google Play Developer Console, users just need to log in with their company email address to browse the Private Channel and download apps," said Google Play product manager Ellie Powers in an official blog post.

Google Play

Credit: Google

Companies with their own in-house Android applications can now distribute them internally via the new Private Channel feature of the Play Store.

The system is controlled via the aforementioned Developer Console, which allows administrators to choose which users are allowed to upload apps to the private channel, and which have download access. A support article on the new feature recommends that dedicated administrative Google accounts be created, so that access isn't lost if a key employee leaves the company. A $25 publisher registration fee is required, and the functionality is currently restricted to Google Apps for Business, Education or Government customers.

The Google Play Private Channel could be an important differentiator for Android in the business world, where it lags behind rival iOS. A survey from enterprise mobility firm Good Technology published earlier this year found that the iPhone was easily the most popular new business smartphone on the market at that time. Google has subsequently made progress in this area, though the general state of the market hasn't changed appreciably.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies