Managed Google Play accounts are a powerful tool that can significantly benefit Android administrators. But what exactly are they, and how do they work?
A Managed Google Play account is a specific account that IT administrators can use to deploy and maintain applications on managed devices. When a user enrolls their Android device into the organization's enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, a Managed Google Play account automatically appears on the device.
This account has no passwords and it's not possible to use it to log in anywhere other than that device. The account is also separate from the personal Google account that might already be on the device. The end user does not have access to the Managed Google Play account, and its purpose is for application deployment and management through the EMM.
In addition to managing and distributing apps, Managed Google Play accounts enable administrators to configure app permissions and settings. This level of control can help IT teams maintain the security and functionality of their organization's Android devices.
Administrators can also create a catalog of approved applications to distribute to devices via the Managed Google Play Store. Admins can purchase paid applications for the enterprise as well, removing the need for individual purchasing and related expenses. Additionally, a Managed Google Play account eliminates the need for personal Google accounts on each device.
3 steps to set up Managed Google Play accounts
To set up a Managed Google Play account, IT administrators must carry out a few processes. The main steps include choosing an account, registering the account with an EMM provider and configuring managed applications.
1. Managed Google Play account setup
To create a Managed Google Play account, organizations can use Google Workspace accounts. If they don't have Google Workspace, they can instead use a consumer Google account, such as a Gmail account. IT can then use the Managed Google Play account to complete EMM registration and log in to configure apps in the Managed Google Play Store.
2. EMM registration
The next step is to connect the organization's EMM to the Managed Google Play account and gain access to the Managed Google Play Store. The IT administrator will log into their organization's EMM and initiate the process to set up Android Enterprise enrollment. This process can vary depending on the EMM platform, so admins should refer to their provider's documentation for detailed instructions. During this step, admins will be prompted to provide their organization's name and the email address they use for enterprise management.
This registration is a one-to-one mapping. This means that the Google Play account used to complete EMM registration cannot be used for a different registration. So, if an organization uses two different EMM platforms, it will need a different Managed Google Play account for each EMM registration. Deleting this association with the EMM will also result in users losing access to the Managed Google Play Store on their enrolled devices.
The first account that IT used to set up their Managed Google Play Store and EMM registration will also be the designated owner account. It is crucial to take necessary precautions to safeguard the owner account to ensure uninterrupted access for users.
IT admins should also avoid using a personal account that's tied to a single user. This prevents potential access disruptions if that user leaves the organization in the future. IT can further mitigate the risk of losing account access by making sure that accounts are accessible to more than one person, guaranteeing continuity and uninterrupted access.
3. Setup and configuration of Managed Google Play Store applications
Once an admin has completed registration within their EMM, they can log into the Managed Google Play Store. From there, they can start adding and configuring applications and permissions to distribute through the EMM to their managed users.
The owner account can add additional admins to the Managed Google Play Store to assist with tasks such as approving and managing apps. To add additional owners and admins, navigate to the Managed Google Play Store, click Admin Settings and select the plus sign next to Admins.
Best practices for Managed Google Play accounts and applications
IT administrators should keep the following tips in mind when starting to use their Managed Google Play accounts:
- Keep track of app permissions and make sure to review them regularly.
- Regularly check for updates on apps and distribute the updates through EMM. This will ensure that employees have the most up-to-date and secure versions of the apps they use.
- Use the Managed Configurations and OEM config features to customize app settings for employees. This can include setting up default preferences or disabling certain features within an app.
By understanding the steps involved in creating Managed Google Play accounts and how they play a role in app management and deployments, administrators can fully utilize Android Enterprise and enhance their organization's mobility management.
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