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Single-click Android app install/upgrade for Enterprise

Posted on 2011-10-09
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Hi,

1. I've built an Android application that will be used by the employees of my company (aka Enterprise).
2. I do NOT want this application to be distributed via Android Market (or any other Market unless it is my own Market).
3. I suppose my end users know very little about software distribution on mobile devices, about Android OS, and computers in general.
4. I'm interested in a single-click installation/upgrade.
5. I prefer that the APK file will be inaccessible/nontransferable after the installation.

What I've tried so far:
I've created an APK, put it on my own server protected by user-password, and added MIME type to be android package archive...
My users can log in to the server and download the APK file.

From now on it's a total mess (I've checked on different devices and OS versions):
1. Some devices will show the Downloads folder immediately after the installation, and some won't (in which case a newbie user gets lost immediately).
2. Some devices have different kinds of File Managers, so if you click on the downloaded APK, the behavior is different from device to device.
3. Click on the downloaded APK might have different behavior from double-click on the same APK.
4. Some devices will require uninstall before upgrade, while others won't.
5. etc...

All the above makes the installation very hard to impossible for a large number of my users.

I'm looking for a single-click installation: I send a link to a user, he clicks the link, the application is downloaded and installed (and nice to have: the (advanced) user does NOT have a way to access the APK).

Sorry for the following comparison in the current Zone: I want something similar to the iPhone Enterprise Distribution (you get to company's server, click on a link, the application is being downloaded and installed).

If you've created some kind of easy installation, please share your experience.

Thank you.
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Question by:gena17
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1ce earned 1000 total points
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The easiest way is to release them in the form of OTA update.zip file that can be installed automatically in recovery mode. But I don't think this is an option for you since you are not rolling your own android distribution (hence in control of the recovery image key to sign the OTA).

As you have observed http side loading an APK through http is painful and the user has to have enabled "Unknown sources" in their application setting or it would not work. This is intentional so that user does not unknowingly install malware.

I have not try these guys, but may be they have what you need
http://www.zenprise.com/managed_devices/android_management/
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