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Google Launches Private Android App Stores 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the invitation-only dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Malicious apps have emerged as perhaps the most serious threat to mobile devices at the moment, and the major players, such as Apple and Google, have tried several different methods of preventing them from getting into their app stores and into the hands of users. Now, Google is taking one more step with the launch of a new service called the Private Channel for Google Apps, which gives enterprises and other organizations the ability to create private app stores and control the apps their users can download. Private Channel is essentially a way for organizations to stand up their own miniature app stores inside of Google Play--the main app store for Android devices--and publish apps to it. That gives these organizations the ability to point their users directly to the apps they want users to download for their Android devices. The new service will include some of the security features built into Google Play, most notably the anti-malware system and the ability to authenticate users."
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Google Launches Private Android App Stores

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  • "...new service called the Private Channel for Google Apps, which gives enterprises and other organizations the ability to create private app stores and control the apps their users can download..."

    This is Facebook's idea. It might sue. Just saying.

    • More like "Watch out Microsoft".

      This looks like the start of a push to replace Windows on enterprise desktops.

    • This is Facebook's idea. It might sue. Just saying.

      I read your post, and thought "idiot", on reflection...and its off-topic. Facebook and Google are an inevitable clash. Google+ Continues to grow [500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active], and Facebook is reportedly in talks to buy Microsoft's Atlas ad technology. They are very much in each others faces.

  • and I'd use it and recommend it so long as it doesn't get abused and/or have the uncontrolled saturation like the regular store. Will be interesting to see how this plays out. (No pun intended!)
  • by Macfox (50100) * on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:26PM (#42212153) Homepage

    Google Apps Free Edition

    Starting on December 6, 2012, Google will no longer offer new accounts for the free edition of Google Apps. Google Apps free edition is sometimes referred to as "Standard Edition."
    If you already have the free edition, you can continue to use it for free. This change has no impact on existing users of the free edition.

    Please see the Google Enterprise Blog for additional details.

    http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com.au/ [blogspot.com.au]
    http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?answer=2855120 [google.com]

    • It doesn't look like this will affect individuals who just want to use Google's services, only business users.

      • by Macfox (50100) *

        Gmail/Google consumer accounts remain. Google Apps no longer has a free version which was very popular with individuals wanting a personalise email/web , and small businesses / non-profits outside the US of 10 users.

    • They've already stopped anyone without a Google+ account rating or commenting on apps.

      I could even see them requiring a Google+ account for downloading apps. They do appear to be THAT desperate to make G+ work.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:53PM (#42212303)
    Sounds like the device management in BlackBerry but not as sophisticated. With BlackBerry, you can manage what goes on the devices even more precisely. And with BB10 next month comes the private app store where different groups of users can see different sets of apps within your organization. You can also automatically push the apps (and upgrades) to the devices. You can also manage a firewall between personal and corporate content/apps within each phone (it's called Balance). Good to see Google helping the enterprise, but it sounds like they still have a way to go.
    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      They did have a later start. They should have those features, and would guess they'd be easy to implement on their own. The trick is getting all of the different app store behaviours (public store, private stores, alternate stores, and side-loading) working together well and controllable with some sort of device policy. The more open a device is, the more things it has to take into account. It sounds like they could use some of things that BlackBerry has learned though.

    • Everything on android is just like what someone else has done but with less sophistication.
  • I like this. All privacy issues aside, this is similar to keeping to maintaining your own local, debian repository. But, 'in the cloud'. Have any Linux distros attempted this?
  • a REAL Steam client(or something similar, not necessarily by valve) for mobile games and platforms? Not the crap we have on iOS/Android right now. Someone must step up the gaming business on Android already. I though sony could do it with PSMobile program, but like always just wasted all that great potential. And browsing for games on the Google Play store is a nightmare. Live wallpapers and widgets are not gaming categories. Where is fighting/flight/SHMUP/simulator/platformer/RPG/strategy/etc sections?
  • So what? (Score:1, Informative)

    by countach (534280)

    I'm not sure why this is interesting. Apple has offered companies a way to upload their own private apps to IOS for years. Slightly different to this mechanism, but the same result.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure why this is interesting. Apple has offered companies a way to upload their own private apps to IOS for years. Slightly different to this mechanism, but the same result.

      Obviously any company, just like anyone else, can load their own apps to their own device. That's hardly the same thing as providing a central repository for employees to pull from.

      • Obviously any company, just like anyone else, can load their own apps to their own device.

        That is not what enterprise deployment is.

        That's hardly the same thing as providing a central repository for employees to pull from.

        In fact it is. With an enterprise signed app, you can put an IPA file anywhere you like, and have someone just point any iOS device at it to download and install. There is no need to know the device UDID ahead of time.

        The restriction on this from Apple's end is that the people downloadin

        • by marsu_k (701360)

          In fact it is. With an enterprise signed app, you can put an IPA file anywhere you like, and have someone just point any iOS device at it to download and install. There is no need to know the device UDID ahead of time.

          I'm aware of this as we are developing an iPad app at the moment, but it's not really the same is it? I mean, should there be a new version of the app, the users must download the new version (and know about its existence in the first place). As far as I can tell, this "private app store" allows notifications of updates like Google Play does. This really doesn't concern us as the actual iOS app changes very seldom, we're able to update the data separately (TouchDB <-> CouchDB rocks), but I think the G

          • I'm aware of this as we are developing an iPad app at the moment, but it's not really the same is it? I mean, should there be a new version of the app, the users must download the new version (and know about its existence in the first place).

            They would have to download the app no matter what app store it was from.

            As for auto-notification of updates, HockeyKit can handle that if needed, but an email to users with the update link also works.

            this "private app store" allows notifications of updates like Google

  • EFF / FSF Channel? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:17PM (#42212431) Homepage

    Might be cool if the EFF or FSF put up a channel. EFF could identify apps that don't spy on you. FSF could list apps that offer their source code under a F/LOSS license. Either one could also create an "Approved by EFF" (or FSF) logo program to generate revenue to fund the channel administration.

    Malicious apps have emerged as perhaps the most serious threat to mobile devices at the moment

    It is true that I am much more likely to install software I believe I can trust,. For me, the EFF and FSF are organizations that I would trust to make the call, not a corporation like Google, Apple, MS, or Amazon. But Google does make it easy to get the software onto my rooted and rom'd Galaxy, and pay the programmers for their work.

    It may not have mass market appeal, but it doesn't have to. It only needs to appeal to the hundreds of thousands of technophiles who know about the EFF and FSF; that's enough to make a successful channel. There'd be some decent revenue there, and it would raise the public image of the EFF and FSF as defenders of digital liberty.

    Obviously there are EULA, DRM, and walled garden questions that must be contemplated, but there seems to be enough upside to at least go through the thought process and see if it can be reconciled.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @12:10AM (#42212725)

      F-Droid [f-droid.org] is almost that "FSF channel": only free software built from source. Apps that spy on you are marked as such and aren't shown by default.

      (Disclosure: I contributed translations to the project.)

      • by ceka (1092107)
        Mod parent up!
      • F-Droid is a very good thing. Nowadays, I'm disinclined to use an app that isn't available on F-Droid. I've been weeding out non F-Droid apps, and am down to one or two.

        (I don't have a Google account, so Google Play has never been available to me.)

        Best wishes,
        Bob

      • Well, f-droid is a fork of Aptoide. And by the last version of Aptoide, it seems a pretty more mature platform...
    • by mathew42 (2475458)

      The idea of custom channels sounds very appealing. especially channels curated by well known identities. Apps are currently promoted by blogs etc. and the effect of a channel would be to provide a list of all the Apps recommended by someone. Although this might also be covered better by "recommended" lists, which to some extent could be implemented by a hooks to Google+.

  • I had suggested this very idea about a year. The idea is that by having multiple stores, it is a certainty that Google will shortly offer one that is for SECURED apps. IOW, it will operate similar to Apple's. Now, I have zip desire to use this for my droids. However, for my 70+ y.o. parents, this is ideal. Likewise, I know a number of ppl that want the security of Apple's private store, but the phones that are available under android (bigger and better screens).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't why everyone is up in arms saying Android is insecure I am running Android 2.3 on my phone I am sending this from and I have no problems what so ever. I can download anything I want and not get any virus or malware. Heck I don't even feel the need to use common sense like I do on a PC to stay protected.

    Hay have you heard if you go to thebigmoneymakingwebsitetotallynotascam.com you can make $120 an hour just browsing the web. My Aunt who has been unimployed for 10months make $27194 last month alone.

  • Google can't be bothered to police their App Store so they've created an option to allow people to do google's job if they're keen on my being spied on by all their apps.
  • What a brilliant way to create targeted groups ! In fact I am sure apple will soon come up with it as well and sue Google for patent violation. I find it quite handy in that I could possibly subscribe to a group that I support their method of reviewing apps such as EFF or FSF. I wonder if I subscribe to two groups do I get what is common to both sets or a combination of the sets ? I suspect the first if the business model is to work.
  • Biggest problem I have is apps that want to snoop on my phone state (can get your phone #, see what calls you are making and when) and unnecessary geolocation (so they know where you are to profile you in their marketing database). Android does warn you what apps do, but I'd like to see these categories made clearer so I don't even have to see then when I'm searching.

    Next annoyance is apps that have intrusive advertising. Google doesn't warn about this. You find out when you download. Download. Delete. Do
  • malware and malicious apps will be availlable.....

  • Sounds to me like Google will setup stores for ATT, Verizon, etc.... Somehow the phones they sell will be locked into these stores. So that only ATT can determine what apps ATT users can get. Just watch.
  • if it got on slashdot.

  • Well, private stores is really what is available with Aptoide for the Android Platform, isn't it ? And it is open source (GPL v2).

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