As we have detailed regularly here on Chrome Story, Android apps are coming to Chromebooks! With the release of the Google Play store to the stable channel of Chrome, it is time for IT administrators to considering how they will manage, deploy and monitor Android App usage on Chrome OS.
A new section has been added to the Google Apps Management console that provides some basic management capabilities. The management controls are in the early stages of development and will need to be expanded before this can be considered a complete enterprise solution.
To access the settings that apply to Android on Chrome log in to the admin console and visit Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > Google Play Apps.
Here’s the rundown on what these settings can do:
Play Store on Chrome Devices: enables / disables the ability to access the Play Store on managed Chrome devices. If you aren’t ready to deploy Android apps on your Chrome OS devices, disable.
Account Management: By default, users are able to access the Play store using their school / work account OR a personal account. Checking the box will disable the ability to access the Play Store using a non-managed account. Most school administrators will want to enable this feature for students to ensure that district app policies are enforceable.
Unknown Sources: disables the ability to side-load apps from unofficial sources such as Amazon Underground or f-droid.
Certificate Synchronization: Security certificates installed on Chrome OS machines are not automatically passed on to Android apps to verify device identity. If your users need to access Android apps that require a security certificate, you will want to enable this setting.
A special note to education customers: Android for Work is not available for domains using the education license. Instead, you will use Google Play for Education which provides similar functions.
Both Google Play for Chrome OS and the management settings are being actively developed by Google. New features and controls will be added in the future and we will document them here as they are announced.