Management of private applications: via the Play Store or the TinyMDM Store?

4th of January 2023

Many companies deploy their own private applications internally that they do not wish to make publicly visible to Google. This allows them to be in control of their deployment, updates or not to be obliged to follow the multiple rules imposed by the Play Store.

The TinyMDM Android smartphone and tablet management software allows you to manage public applications, web applications and private applications. They work both on a fully managed device and on a device enrolled in a work profile. They can be managed both through the Play Store and through a feature developed in 2022, the TinyMDM Store. What are the differences between these two app markets? Is one more suitable than the other? More reliable? More complete? Through this article, discover the characteristics of each and make your choice.

play store vs tinymdm store

Adding private applications from the Play Store

In addition to offering its users a marketplace of public apps, Google also offers them the ability to add private apps from the Play Store. Publishing a private APK from the Google Play Store allows developers to create applications without making them available to the billions of Android users.

By implementing management software such as TinyMDM, which allows you to manage the applications available on fleets of Android mobile devices, there are certain advantages to installing private applications from the Play Store:

  • Managed configurations are application-specific configurations designed by the developer himself. They are used for example to automate user identification, prioritise actions, deploy new settings and much more. Managed configurations can be configured via the mobile fleet management tool used, which allows the choice of default values and the expected behaviour of applications.

managed configuration
  • The ability to publish an application either on the public Play Store or as a private application hosted on the Play Store but visible only to your organization. A private application imported from the managed Play Store can appear directly on the Play Store of devices enrolled with TinyMDM in the same way as a public application.

However, in order to add a private APK from the Play Store, it must meet Google’s rules, which can often be a barrier for developers. The APK must be less than 50MB in size, have a unique package name and have the correct signature… If any of these requirements are not met, the APK will not be compatible. Fortunately, the TinyMDM Store is there to help its customers!

Adding private applications from the TinyMDM Store

The TinyMDM Store, a private application marketplace, is a feature of the TinyMDM centralized management software, which was designed and developed in-house. It also has many benefits:

  • The TinyMDM Store makes it possible to distribute an application more quickly and without going through the Play Store validation process for adding an APK mentioned above. Indeed, it does not impose any maximum size for APKs. Furthermore, if the package name is already in use on the Play Store, it will work anyway.

  • TinyMDM Store provides the ability to manage alternate versions of applications for testing or for a specific management requirement. For example, some companies need to have different versions of their application on particular devices. Depending on security policies, we can make sure that the application versions are different.

  • Our private application marketplace also allows for better support in the event of a problem being encountered. Indeed, customers are directly put in touch with our technical team who try to understand the problem and bring solutions. This saves time and avoids having too many people to deal with, as would be the case if they were to go through the Play Store due to the necessary intermediary of Google.

Both the TinyMDM Store and the Google Play Store allow for the management of private APKs, with different advantages depending on the needs of each company. The functionality of the TinyMDM software, however, allows for more flexibility than the version offered by Google.

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