Managing Public App availability

GreggH
Level 1.6: Donut

Hi All,

 

Just looking to see how you are all managing the public apps you have approved into your UEMs from Managed Google Play.

 

At the moment I am aware of two potential pain points that my team don't have a solution for:

 

  1. Apps that are approved to UEM but no longer published to or available in Play, which has impacted us a few times in the past as we haven't been able to proactively identify and find a replacement product. 
  2. Apps that are approved but don't meet the minimum SDK API for Android (admittedly an anticipated problem with the Android 14 change but we have no current way to be proactive on this either)

We currently have over 80 public apps approved for various roles in our organization so keeping on top on them is a challenge, especially as we can only see a manual approach just wondering if anyone has any particular recommendations before I set the RPA team on it to look at a) does the URL still resolve and b) what is the "requires Android" version to try and provide us some more near real time insight. 

4 REPLIES 4

Moombas
Level 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

We have had same issues in the past but lost likely with non big brand apps.

Did you try to provide the apps as an apk (requested from developer) and let it just update from playstore?

Maybe you would need to keep the update ia playstore out and do this manually as well to stop this happening.

The possibilitys are limited to what your MDM provides.

GreggH
Level 1.6: Donut

Hi @Moombas ,

 

Appreciate you taking the time to respond.

 

I don't think getting the APKs will really help us, whilst we can deploy these with Workspace One, it doesn't align with our User Experience principles and doesn't account for the installation restrictions in upcoming versions of Android.
I completely agree that this less of issue with the bigger brands (although BBC News was one of our approved apps that moved to a different appID and "went missing" from Managed Google Play), we do however have a fair number of niche apps for our industry and these tend to be slower on the uptake. 

Looks like I might be relying on robots for this activity 🤖

Moombas
Level 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

I completely understand that but then i don't see any possibility to "fix this" from my end because it's a "human issue" when developers are not realigne their apps if needed before they disappear. No one of us can solve that here 😉

But maybe others have another idea on your issue which i don't see.

jasonbayton
Level 3.0: Honeycomb

Hi Gregg!

 

80 is a significant number to keep on top of, I feel the pain already.

 

My normal advice for organisations that deem public apps critical is to establish communication & support with the app developer(s) directly where possible. 

 

This gives both sides opportunity to communicate, plan for changes, maybe even sponsor continued development given the risk of losing access may translate into a lot of internal effort & cost to replace it.

 

80 apps makes that more of an undertaking, but really without a relationship with the folks making these apps you're reliant on, you're at the whim of whatever they do, including loss of interest/support because they don't consider it worth their time/effort to continue developing.

 

Pulling APKs has worked in the past, but it's a less-desirable choice with modern management, that said if you do open dialogue with Devs, you have the option of commissioning a private version you can host yourself in managed Google Play.. and benefit from fewer Play update policies to keep on top of also.