Android Enterprise fully managed devices and the Google Play store

This week another post about an Android Enterprise configuration. Last week was related to company owned single-use (COSU) devices (also known as dedicated devices), while this week is related to company owned business only (COBO) devices (also known as fully managed devices). More specifically, about adding a personal touch to fully managed devices. Microsoft Intune doesn’t know the company owned personally enabled (COPE) devices, yet, but there is a feature within the fully managed devices configuration that can at least enable some more personal options to the user. That can be achieved with a simple configuration to allow access to all apps in the Google Play store. I’ll start this post with the configuration steps (and a little introduction) and I’ll end this post by having a look at the end-user experience.

Configuration

Let’s start with a quick introduction about the setting that should be configured and the impact of that setting. The setting Allow access to all apps in Google Play store must be set to Allow. Once it’s set to Allow, users get access to all apps in Google Play store. Apps can be sort of blocked by the administrator by assigning an uninstall of the apps to the user (or device). That will simply remove the app (over-and-over) again. When it’s set to Not configured, users are forced to only access the apps the administrator makes available (or required) via the Google Play store.

The following 3 steps walk through the process of creating a device restrictions policy that enables access to the Google Play store for users.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device configuration > Profiles to open the Device configuration – Profiles blade;
2 On the Device configuration – Profiles blade, click Create profile to open the Create profile blade;
3a

AEFMD-CreateProfileOn the Create profile blade, provide the following information and click Create;

  • Name: Provide a valid name
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a valid description
  • Platform: Select Android Enterprise
  • Profile type: Select Device Owner > Device restrictions
  • Settings: See step 3b
3b On the Device restrictions blade, select Applications to open the Applications blade; and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade;
3c On the Applications blade, select Allow with Allow access to all apps in Google Play store and click OK and OK to return to the Create profile blade;
AEFMD-Applications

Note: This profile can be assigned to user and device groups.

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. Depending on the exact configuration the end-user can end up with one of the three scenarios as shown below.

  1. Below on the left is showing the Google Play store for the work account only, without access to all apps in the Google Play store.
  2. Below in the middle is showing the Google Play store for the work account only, with access to all apps in the Google Play store. Even though my store is in Dutch, the number of items in the menu, and the apps shown in the background, show the difference.
  3. Below on the right is showing the Google Play store for the work account when also a personal account is added (see the purple circle with a “P”). It provides the same options as shown in the middle, but also enables the user to switch between accounts.
Screenshot_20190729-172606_Google Play Store Screenshot_20190729-181300_Google Play Store Screenshot_20190724-210437_Google Play Store

The combination for the user to add a personal account to the device and being able to install apps via the Google Play store, will at least give the user some options to personalize the device.

More information

For more information about the device configuration options for Android Enterprise fully managed devices, please refer to the Device owner section in the documentation about Android Enterprise device settings to allow or restrict features using Intune.

Create a custom multi-app kiosk mode

This week is all about creating a custom multi-app kiosk mode for Android Enterprise dedicated devices. The Android Enterprise dedicated device settings also contains multi-app kiosk settings, but in some scenarios those settings can still be a little bit limiting. To create a multi-app kiosk mode, Microsoft Intune relies on the Managed Home Screen app. The fun part is that the Managed Home Screen app already contains a few more settings that are currently only available via app configuration policies. In this post I’ll start with a quick overview of the app configuration options that exist nowadays, followed by showing an app configuration example for the Managed Home Screen app to add a non-Managed Google Play Store app. Technically speaking I’ll add a single app, using the multi-app configuration option. Really adding multiple apps is more of the same. I’ll end this post by showing the end-user experience.

It’s important to keep in mind that the preferred and advised method to configure multi-app kiosk mode settings is still by using the dedicated device settings.

App configuration options

Let’s start this post by having a look at the app configuration options that are available nowadays. In the early days it was still required to manually configure configuration keys and values. These days Intune can prepopulate configuration keys that are available within the Android apps. Below is a quick overview of the 2 app configuration options that are available :

Configuration designer: The Configuration designer can be used to configure simple settings via the UI. It will automatically populate the available configuration keys within the app and allows the administrator to configure the simple configuration values. As long as the value type is not BundleArray
MSH-ConfigurationDesigner
JSON data: The JSON data can be used to configure all settings via a JSON template. The template will automatically populate the available configuration keys within the app and allows the administrator to configure all the configuration values.

MHS-JSONEditor

Configure the Managed Home Screen app

Now the app configuration options are clear. Let’s have a look at the app configuration of the Managed Home Screen app. As an example I want to use a setting that is only configurable via JSON data, as the value type is a BundleArray. That setting is to add (custom non-Managed Google Play Store) apps to the Managed Home Screen app. The following 3 steps walk through the process of creating an app configuration policy that enables the built-in Settings app to the multi-app kiosk mode.

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

MHS-AddConfigPolicyOn the Add configuration policy blade, provide the following information and click Add;

  • Name: Provide a valid name
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a valid description
  • Device enrollment type: Select Managed devices
  • Platform: Select Android
  • Associated app: See step 3b
  • Configuration settings: See step 3c
  • Permissions: See step 3d

Note: The main focus of this post is the configuration around the configuration settings (step 3c). That doesn’t mean that the permission configuration (step 3d) can’t be really useful when the app needs specific permissions. As it’s not the key part of this post, I won’t go into to much details for now.

3b

On the Associated app blade, select Managed Home Screen and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade;

Note: When the Managed Home Screen app is not available make sure that that the app is approved and synchronized with Intune.

3c

On the Configuration settings blade, select Enter JSON data with Configuration settings format. Now either click Download JSON template, for offline editing, or use the JSON editor to directly configured the required configuration keys. Before clicking on OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade, go through the following 3 steps (see also the screenshot below):

  1. Navigate to the applications configuration key to add the required apps for the custom multi-app kiosk mode. In my example, I add the Settings app (com.android.settings) to my multi-app kiosk mode. The valueString should be the app package name. To add another app simply copy the complete managedProperty and adjust the valueString.
  2. To be able to save the configuration, make sure to change all the values that need to be configured and still state something like STRING_VALUE. When a setting is not needed it can also be removed.
  3. The red areas on the scrollbar show the locations of values that must be adjusted or removed before the configuration can be saved.

Note: Make sure that the settings in the app configuration policy don’t overlap with settings in the dedicated device configuration.

MHS-JSONEditor-Config
3d On the Permissions blade, click Add to open the Add permissions blade. The Add permissions blade can be used select permissions that should be overridden. Select the required permissions and click OK to return to the Permissions blade and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade.

Note: At some point in time these configuration options will probably become available in the multi-app kiosk mode settings for dedicated devices.

End-user experience

Let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. When the device is enrolled and the assigned apps are installed, the device will ask to select a home screen app (the message will actually show after the installation of the Managed Home Screen app). After selecting the Managed Home Screen app, the home screen will show as configured in the app configuration policy.

As shown on the right, I only get the Settings app (Instellingen is the Dutch version of Settings) as app on my home screen. That’s exactly what I wanted. Also, I configured a blue theme and I removed nearly all the other options from the end-user.

Note: The experience might be different from the configuration via the dedicated device settings. The main difference might be that in some cases the end-user might receive a message to configure a home screen app. So make sure to carefully test the end-user experience, to see if it matches the expectations.

Screenshot_20190721-195426

More information

For more information about configuring the Managed Home Screen app, please refer to the documentation about Configure the Microsoft Managed Home Screen app for Android Enterprise .

Android Enterprise fully managed devices and conditional access

This week is all about Android Enterprise fully managed devices. More specifically, the recently introduced functionality to use Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access. To support this functionality Microsoft introduced a new app, named Microsoft Intune app, and a new profile type for device compliancy policies for the Android Enterprise platform. Together these 2 features enable Android Enterprise fully managed devices to be registered as compliant device and to successfully work with conditional access. In this post I’ll provide some information about the Microsoft Intune app and I’ll show how to configure that app, followed by some information about the compliance policy for device owner scenarios and how to configure that policy. I’ll end this post by showing the end-user experience.

Keep in mind that Android Enterprise fully managed devices is still preview functionality. There are still scenarios that will not fully work at this moment. One of those scenarios is related to app protection policies. I specifically mention that scenario, as it can conflict with the scenario in this post. Apps with app protection policies assigned, will still prompt for the Company Portal app.

Microsoft Intune app

The first part in using Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access is the Microsoft Intune app. The Microsoft Intune app is a new modern and light-weight app that will enable the Company Portal app experiences for end-users on fully managed devices. That includes managing compliance for their device. Keep in mind that the Microsoft Intune app is only for the fully managed device scenario. As Android Enterprise fully managed devices require the Managed Google Play Store, the following 4 steps walk through the process of adding the Microsoft Intune app by using the Managed Google Play Store. After that the Microsoft Intune app can be assigned as any other app.

Keep in mind that after the May 2019 service roll out of Microsoft Intune, the Microsoft Intune app will automatically be added to the Intune admin console after connecting the tenant to managed Google Play.

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 MIapp-AddAppOn 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 Microsoft Intune app;
MIapp-SearchApp
3c On the Search managed Google Play blade, select the required app and click Approve to open a dialog box with app permissions;
MIapp-ApproveApp
3d

MIapp-ApproveAppDB01On 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

MIapp-ApproveAppDB02On 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;
MIapp-ApproveAppOK
4 Back on the Add app blade, click Sync;

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

Compliance policy for device owner

The second part in using Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access is the compliance policies. Since recently it’s possible to create compliance policies for fully managed devices. The list of available compliance settings is smaller than other platforms. The main reason for that is because those settings are only applicable to fully managed devices. And fully managed devices are, as the name already implies, fully managed. In other words, fully managed devices already follow strict configuration policies. The following 5 steps walk through the process of creating a device compliance policy for Android Enterprise fully managed devices. After configuring the device compliance policy assign it to a user group like any other device compliance policy.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device compliance > Policies to open the Device compliance – Policies blade;
2 On the Device compliance – Policies blade, click Create Policy to open the Create Policy blade;
3a

AEfmd-CreatePolicyOn the Create Policy blade, provide the following information and click Create;

  • Name: Provide a valid name;
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a description;
  • Platform: Select Android Enterprise;
  • Profile type: Device owner
  • Settings: See step 3b and 3c;
  • Actions for noncompliance: Leave default (for this post);
  • Scope (Tags): Leave default (for this post);

Note: Configuring non-standard values for Actions for noncompliance and Scope (Tags), is out of scope for this post;

3b

AEfmd-DevicePropertiesOn the Device owner blade, select Device Properties to open the Device Properties blade. On the Device Properties blade, configure the required device properties and click OK to return to the Device owner blade;

3c AEfmd-SystemSecurityBack on the Device owner blade, select System Security to open the System Security blade. On the System Security blade, configure the required system security settings and click OK to return to the Device owner blade;
4 Back on the Device owner blade, click OK to return to the Create Policy;
5 Back on the Create Policy blade, click Create to create the policy.

Note: To take full advantage of this device compliance policy configuration, it must be used in combination with a conditional access policy that requires the device to be marked as compliant.

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by looking at the end-user experience. Below, from left to right, is an overview of the different steps in the Microsoft Intune app to get a device from a noncompliant state to a compliant state. When the user has a noncompliant device state, the user can start the process by clicking on “You need to update settings on this device”. That will bring the user to the screen to setup access to resources. On that screen the user can simply continue. The next screen will show the user the settings that need to be updated and by clicking on a setting the user will receive information to resolve the issue. Once all the issues are resolved, the device state will switch to compliant.

AEfmd-Experience01 AEfmd-Experience02 AEfmd-Experience03
AEfmd-Experience04 AEfmd-Experience05

Note: Keep in mind that this is still preview functionality. When using app protection policies, the protected apps will still prompt for the installation of the Intune Company Portal app.

More information

For more information regarding the Microsoft Intune app and Android Enterprise fully managed devices, please refer to the following articles:

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.