AppCentral is a mobile application management vendor that we’ve mentioned previously on this site. They’re releasing a new version of their eponymous product today, so we’ll take this opportunity to profile their offerings.
Appcentral started out as Ondeego, in 2007. They developed BlackBerry apps and a bit later Android and iOS apps, mostly for enterprise customers’ business to business and business to employee apps. In 2010 they shifted their focus to mobile app distribution and management, changing their name to AppCentral and releasing their MAM product for the first time.
The AppCentral platform today consists of an app store app and a cloud based management interface. The management interface includes the expected policy-based app access controls, integration with Active Directory and LDAP, and controls for managing deployed apps. The app management comes through app wrapping (for iOS and Android), and the capabilities include remote locking, remote wiping, forcing authentication, forcing updates, restricting offline use, and monitoring usage. These can all be updated and change over the air, after an app is deployed.
As with most MAM products that involve in-house or custom apps, iOS apps are signed with an iOS Developer Enterprise Certificate (instead of being signed by Apple). The app store app itself is also deployed this way (so you won’t find it in the Apple App Store or in Google Play), and it can curate public apps and has push notification capabilities.
Version 2.5 of AppCentral is being released today. What does this add? AppCentral emphasised improvements to the UI/UX, making it more friendly for admins that may be in departments other than IT. This release also marks the beginning of post-compile app wrapping for iOS—previously, to get AppCentral’s management tools into an iOS app, code had to be inserted at the time of development. They’re also offering a free trial, but in order to take advantage, you’ll need an iOS Developer Enterprise Certificate (if you’re using iOS) and some actual app package files to distribute.
This type of MAM and in-house are still a pretty small niche, but growth is expected, something that AppCentral says they have noticed already.
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