Easily managing Managed Google Play apps directly in Microsoft Intune

This week is all about the simplified experience for managing Managed Google Play apps directly in Microsoft Intune. The Managed Google Play store is used to deploy apps to devices managed via Android Enterprise. Before it was required to separately navigate to the Manage Google Play store to approve apps and after approval it was required to synchronize the approved apps with Microsoft Intune. Now the approval (and deletion) of Managed Google Play apps can be achieved by using Microsoft Intune only. Besides the better user experience, the fact that Google announced the deprecation of the device admin management API, means that it’s really time to look at the Managed Google Play store and apps and Android Enterprise in general.

In this post I will not look at Android Enterprise and the different deployment models. that might be something for another post, but I will look specifically at managing Managed Google Play apps. I’ll do that by quickly showing how to connect Microsoft Intune with Managed Google Play, followed by the steps and experience for adding and deleting Managed Google Play apps in Microsoft Intune.

Connect Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play

The first configuration that should be in place, before any configuration related to Android Enterprise can be performed, is the connection between Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play. The following three steps walk through connecting Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play to enable managing Android Enterprise devices and deploying Managed Google Play apps. As this is not the main subject of this post, the steps describe the main actions.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device enrollment > Android enrollment to open the Device enrollment – Android enrollment blade;
2 On the Device enrollment – Android enrollment blade, click Managed Google Play to open the Managed Google Play blade;
3

On the Managed Google Play blade, complete the following two steps:

  1. Select I agree with I grant Microsoft permission to send both user and device information to Google
  2. Click Launch Google to connect now and walk through the Google Play steps

Note: Connecting Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play is required for managing Managed Google Play apps by using Microsoft Intune.

Add a Managed Google Play app

Once the connection between Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play is configured, Microsoft Intune can be used for managing Managed Google Play apps. Even without the need to authenticate with every action regarding managing Managed Google Play apps. The following three steps walk through the process of adding a Managed Google Play app by using Microsoft Intune. I’m using the NBA app as an example and after adding the app, it can be assigned to a user and/or device group like any other app.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, click Add to open the Add app blade;
3a

MGP-AddApp01On the Add app blade, provide the following information and click Sync;

  • App type: Managed Google Play;
  • Managed Google Play: See step 3b – 3f;
3b On the Search managed Google Play blade, search for the required app;
MGP-AddApp02
3c On the Search managed Google Play blade, select the required app and click Approve to open a dialog box with app permissions;
MGP-AddApp03
3d

MGP-AddApp04On the dialog box with app permissions, click Approve to continue to the selection about handling new app permissions;

Important: Keep in mind that this will accept these permissions on behalf of the organization.

3e

MGP-AddApp05On the dialog box about handling new app permissions, select Keep approved when app requests new permissions and click Save to return to the Search managed Google Play blade;

Important: Keep in mind that this decision might impact the future app permissions and/or the future user experience.

3f On the Search managed Google Play blade, click OK;
MGP-AddApp06

Note: These steps will approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and sync the approved app in to Microsoft Intune.

Delete a Managed Google Play app

Similar to adding Managed Google Play apps, these apps can now also be deleted by using Microsoft Intune. The following three steps walk through the process of deleting a Managed Google Play app by using Microsoft Intune. I’m using the NBA app as an example again.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, search for the required app, select the three dots and click Delete to open an Are you sure? dialog box;
MGP-DeleteApp01
3 On the Are you sure? dialog box, click Yes;
MGP-DeleteApp02

Note: These steps will programmatically un-approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and sync the result to Microsoft Intune.

More information

For more information regarding managing Managed Google Play apps via Microsoft Intune, please refer to this article about Adding Managed Google Play apps to Android enterprise devices with Intune.

2 thoughts on “Easily managing Managed Google Play apps directly in Microsoft Intune”

  1. I’d be really interested in finding a guide on how to manage software updates through play store.
    We use an app from the store that I need to control the updates and would like to segment the updates on QA devices before going in production.

    Have you experienced anything like this ?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.