Manage Android apps on Chrome (beta) – Chrome for business and education Help

Manage Android apps on Chrome (beta)

As an administrator, you can force-install or decide which Android apps users can install on their managed Chrome devices. Users can’t automatically install Android apps. First, you need to enable Android apps for Chrome devices in your domain and approve apps.

Before you begin

If you’re a Chrome for business customer, the managed Google Play store is available for these Chromebooks listed on Chromium.org using Chrome OS version 53 and later. For Chrome for education, the managed Google Play store is supported on Chrome OS version 56 and later. Note that older Chromebooks may require a file system migration and be updated to Chrome OS version 61 or later before they can use Android apps. Learn more about using Android apps on older Chromebooks.

If you enable Android apps and the domain already has an Android for business subscription that uses a third party Enterprise Mobility Manager (EMM) (such as VMware AirWatch® or MobileIron), then the existing subscription and EMM combination is used, but other aspects of managing Android apps on Chrome OS are managed through the Google Admin Console.

If you enable Android apps and the domain doesn’t have an Android for business subscription, one is created automatically and Google Device Manager is selected as the EMM.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Note: Enabling Android apps on Chrome OS for your domain does not automatically enable it for individual users. To give users access to the apps you must also enable the apps for organizational units.

Install Android apps on Chrome devices

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

You can also approve apps in managed Google Play.

  1. Sign in to managed Google Play, using a managed Google Play administrator account.
  2. Search for, and click the app you’d like to approve.
  3. Click Approve.
  4. To accept the app permissions on behalf of your organization, click Approve.
  5. Click Ok.
  6. (Optional) To view a list of all approved apps for your organization, click My company apps from the Apps menu.

The managed Google Play help center contains detailed information on how to manage apps and app licenses for use in your organization.

You can specify the type of installation available for each of your approved apps. You can create a subset of apps that users can choose to install, and also create a different subset of apps that the system automatically installs for every user in the organizational unit. You can also allow users to install any app from the managed Google Play store.

Force the installation of approved apps

From the list of apps you approved in managed Google Play, you can choose a subset that the system automatically installs for every user in the organizational unit. When the user logs into the device, the system automatically starts to download these apps.

Note: This policy is independent of any other Android phone or tablet policy you have in place with a third-party EMM. That means that you can have one set of apps configured to force-install on your Android phones and tablets using a third party EMM, and a different set of apps configured to force-install on Chromebooks using the Admin Console.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Note: While the apps are being downloaded, the user can see a STOP button. If they press it the download is stopped. Another attempt at installation is made at the next login and install attempts will continue until the apps are successfully installed or until the app is no longer part of the list of apps that are force-installed.

Allow the installation of approved apps

If you don’t want to force the installation of apps you can create a list of apps that your users can voluntarily choose to install. The apps must be selected from the apps that you have approved in managed Google Play.

Note: If your organization is using a third-party EMM to manage Android phones or tablets, this option is not available to you. If the EMM has joined managed Google Play, the user sees the store layout as designed by the EMM in the managed Google Play store on their Chromebook.

If the EMM has not joined managed Google Play, the user sees an empty managed Google Play store on their Chromebook, and the only way for them to get Android apps is to configure the forced installation of approved apps.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Apps configured to allow installation, appear in the Store home section of the managed Google Play store on the users’ devices.

Allow the installation of any app

If you give your users full access to the managed Google Play store, they can search and install any app on their Chrome devices, even ones you haven’t approved.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Before you let Google Play store be installed on Chrome devices, make sure you’ve approved and configured apps for users. Otherwise, they might see an empty Google Play store on their device.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Settings typically take effect in minutes. But they might take up to an hour to apply for everyone.

Before you begin, you need the managed configuration file you want to apply to the app. This text (.txt) file contains values for the app’s configurable settings. For information on the specific settings you can configure for each app, contact the app developer.

Managed configuration files can be applied to force-installed apps only. You can’t use them to specify settings for apps that users choose to install, even if those apps are on an approved apps list.

Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

Sample configuration files

You must save your configuration files as a text (.txt) files before you can use and upload them.

The following sample configuration shows how to define a very restrictive blacklist that stops the app from accessing any URL. It also includes a whitelist of specific URLs that the app can access:

“com.android.browser:URLWhitelist”: “[\”www.solamora.com\”, \”www.altostrat.com\”]” >

The following sample configuration shows how to specify all supported setting types (boolean, string, array, and object array):

“message”: “Hello, it’s me”,

“approvals”: [ “read”, “write” ],

Verify Android apps are available on users’ devices

Step 1: Check Chrome OS version

Step 2: Open Google Play

  1. On a Chromebook, open Google Play .

Note: you can also go to play.google.com.

  • Click Agree to accept the Terms of Service.
    1. On a Chromebook, open Google Play .

    Note: you can also go to play.google.com.

  • Click Menu > Store Home.
  • Browse or search for the app you want to install.
  • Click the app you want to install.
  • Click Install.
  • (Optional) Review the requested access permissions and click Accept.
  • To see a list of the Android apps installed on the device, from the Menu , click My work apps or My school apps.

    Remove Android apps from Chrome devices

    Before you begin

    • You can only remove Android apps if Google Device Manager is your EMM provider.
    • If you give any users access to all apps in Google Play, you can’t modify the Allow installation setting (remove any Android apps) for those users.

    Remove an app and its asso ciated user data

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

    If you don’t see Device management on the dashboard, click More controls at the bottom.

    (Optional) Run an Android app as a kiosk on a Chrome device

    For information about how to push Android apps to a Chrome device in locked-down kiosk mode, see Run Android apps as kiosks on Chrome devices.

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