Work-managed Android phones can now automatically install app updates right away

In addition to offering user-facing apps, Google Workspace enables companies to manage their employees’ devices. Google Workspace administrators now have more control over Android app updates on work devices that use managed Google Play.

Previously, the default behavior for app updates in managed Google Play was conditional on the device being connected to a Wi-Fi network, being charged, and not being actively used. This behavior is not always appropriate to our customers’ needs, and administrators need more detailed control over how apps are updated.

Managed Google Play is a select store of pre-selected applications marked with a briefcase icon. Your launcher (in the case of Pixel) is split and given a “Work” tab.

Administrators can now set “Timing for automatic app update” to “High priority” so that updates are installed immediately “after the developer releases the new version and it has been reviewed by Google Play.” This background download can occur when a device is on mobile and battery power. It will also be updated even if the app is actively used by the user, thus shutting it down.

If the device is offline, the app is updated immediately the next time the device is connected to the internet.

The exact opposite of “High Priority” is called “Delayed Mode” and involves delaying automatic updates for three months after a new version is released.

After this 90-day period, the newly available version of the app is automatically installed when a device is connected to Wi-Fi, charging, and the app is not in use. Note: users can still manually update the app via the Play Store.

This setting can only be applied to a subset of users in a Workspace domain. This app update feature launches today and will be fully launched for Android devices to work in the coming weeks:

Available to Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Education Plus, Frontline, older G Suite Business and Basic and Cloud Identity premium customers.

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