Give Your Staff More Control with Chromebook Access to Android Apps

by Denise Hazime on June 2, 2016

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We’ve discussed how Chromebooks can help your organization save money on hardware costs and beef up security. Google recently announced that the Google Play store has been made available to all Chromebooks users, making it even easier for your employees to get access to the tools they need to do their jobs.  

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Why Chromebooks Are Better

For an organization that is running on Google Apps for Work, Chromebooks are a wise choice. Everything you do on a Chromebook is done in the cloud, so the computer isn’t getting clogged up with bloated software code. This makes a Chromebook faster, leaner and more efficient to use. They are also easy to centrally manage from one console, where IT administrators can control users, policies, and more quickly and easily, no matter how many machines are in your organization.   The main reason that businesses running on Google Apps for Work choose Chromebooks is price. While there are higher-end models available which are equivalent in cost to a “regular” laptop, Chromebooks suitable for regular employee needs are around $300. If you consider device replacement costs and the usual lifecycle of a computer, that will an organization of any size a significant amount of money.  

How Android Apps Improve the Chromebooks Experience

Prior to Google allowing access to Google Play on Chromebooks, apps were centrally deployed by IT administrators, requiring a call to IT to get a new app installed unless the user had administrative rights on their Chromebook. Now, with access controls to apps in place, users can download and install apps that they need right away. The world of work moves fast, and if an employee needs to download and install Skype on their Chromebook, they may not have time to go through the IT approval and installation process. Now they don’t have to. IT admins will still have control over which apps can or can’t be installed, with policies available that will allow use of some apps for some users but not others. These finely-grained controls and user management keep your environment secure while giving your staff more freedom and removing annoying app install requests from your IT queue. If you still want to keep things business as usual, you can choose to not allow users to install Android apps at all.

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When Is Google Play Rolling Out to Chromebooks?

Google Play will come to specific models of Chromebooks in June 2016, with support for additional models later in 2016. You can see the full list of supported Chromebook models here, which Google will continuously update. If your business is already mobilized with Google Apps for Work and is not using Chromebooks, contact UpCurve Cloud to find out more about how Chromebooks should be your next device buy.

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