Google adds Private Channel to Play Store for enterprise app distribution

Google Play Store

Google has added functionality to its Google Play Store that will let enterprise users distribute internal applications to employees.

The Google Play Private Channel feature allows Google App admins to publish applications in a private domain and choose which employees can have access to it.

The aim is to make it easier to distribute applications to internal users, the firm noted in a Google Enterprise blog post .

"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 organisation's internal apps quick and easy for employees to find," noted Ellie Powers, product manager of Google Play.

"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.

In the support pages Google noted that businesses won't be able to publish an app to both the public Google Play store and the private store in this "initial release", suggesting this functionality will be added.

The web giant also said users will only be able to see the private store on their Android devices, not from a browser accessible on a computer at this time.

Despite these initial limitations, this marks a positive step for Google. With many companies implementing BYOD policies and Android devices continuing to grow in popularity (1.3 million+ daily activations) this feature will no doubt help boost the profile of Google-based devices within the enterprise.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.