Google is to start offering "Private Channels" for businesses to host and distribute custom-built Android apps.
The new service will allow enterprise and governmental firms to upload custom-built apps into a private Android Marketplace that requires a company email address and password. Google Play's Private Channels is the search giant's latest attempt to get Android in the hands of enterprise users.
"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," wrote product manager for the Google Play Ellie Powers in a blog post.
Google's latest offering comes following similar solutions from the likes of Windows Phone 8. Microsoft offers the Enterprise Marketplace app store to Windows Phone users looking for a private app store for employees.
According to Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, the move makes sense for Google. Moorhead told V3 that Private Channels is a logical step in Google's push to get Android OS into the enterprise field.
"Google's Private Channel is the natural evolution of their move into supporting the enterprise. In the Windows world, it's called "application provisioning" and is done by corporate IT," said Moorhead.
"Microsoft has been doing this with Windows 8 so it's not unique, but it is new for Android and the hundreds and millions of Android phones. Google has been desperately trying to find the right recipe for enterprise and the new Private Channels are a new ingredient that allows them to provide more comprehensive enterprise services."
Much has been made of the Android platforms chances in the enterprise sector. Some have worried that the mobile operating systems issues with security could hamper its viability in the business sector.
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