Google Play Private Channel for Domains; Control Lock Screen Widgets through Apps Device Policy

Google Play Store adds a new "Google Play Private Channel," for Apps customers to hekp them distribute internal Android apps to users at their organization. "This private channel is restricted to users in the domain and can be used to host internal corporate Android apps like a mobile company directory app," google stated."Whether you've built […]

Google Play Store adds a new "Google Play Private Channel," for Apps customers to hekp them distribute internal Android apps to users at their organization. "This private channel is restricted to users in the domain and can be used to host internal corporate Android apps like a mobile company directory app," google stated.

"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 organization's internal apps quick and easy for employees to find. Once your company has loaded these internal apps using the Google Play Developer Console, users just need to log in with their company email address to browse the Private Channel and download apps," informs Google.

Google Apps for Business, Education or Government customer can learn more about how to create organization-based Google Play Private Channel in the Help Center.

Google Play Private Channel for Google Apps domains

Gogole pushed an update to Lock Screen Widgets, now allow domain admins to enable/disable lock screen widgets through the control panel.

"Lock Screen Widgets let you scan recent Gmail messages, Calendar entries, and other app content without unlocking an Android 4.2+ device screen."

Note, "Lock screen widgets are disabled by default. If users have already added widgets, they will disappear in compliance with the setting in the control panel," google added.

The Lock Screen Widgets security setting requires that users update to the latest version of Google Apps Device Policy (version 4.13 or higher) from the Play Store.

Google is also making it a lot easier to set up and configure new domain name to work with Google Apps. To this end, earlier this year Google allowed users to more easily verify their domain with GoDaddy and eNom, and today, "the company released a new API available to any registrar, that let users verify and transfer their email in 3 easy steps," down from 10-and users are no longer required to leave the Google Apps signup flow to complete domain registration.

"Customers can experience the new, easier process today with TransIP and Hover domains, as these registrars have completed their integrations with Google Apps signup flow API."

"More than 10 additional registrars, including some of the largest, are actively building through the API and are currently expected to be available through the simpler setup over the next few months," Google added.

Update 12/10: U.K. based mobile carrier billing company Bango today enters in to an arrangement with Google to bring carrier billing to Google Play, kicking off with Telstra in Australia.

"Telstra subscribers using Google Play can now purchase digital content without resort to sending SMS messages or the limitations of credit cards. Users now enjoy frictionless operator billing powered by Bango, paying on their phone bill, without the need to register personal details," the company stated.

Bango CEO Ray Anderson said that operator billing could be the next step in helping Android developers monetize their creations, alluding to the fact that despite its greater reach, Google's mobile platform generates less revenue and fewer paid customers than rival Apple's iOS.

"Android is winning the battle for smartphone market share," he said in a press release. "As user numbers soar, we will see an increasing flow of developer talent and compelling content channeled through Google Play. We're expecting that operator billing from Bango will boost conversion rates and developer monetization. It's a new weapon in Google's armoury."

Bango provides carrier billing services to Facebook in the UK, France and Germany, and also partners with RIM for BlackBerry App world billing. Earlier this year, it announced deals to work with Amazon and MasterCard, too.

Bango touts its higher conversion rate as a main selling point for its services, claiming 77 percent compared to around 40 percent for alternate payment methods vis SMS or credit cards in November when it launched Facebook carrier billing in France.