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Is it possible in Android to prevent users from installing any app that is not explicitly listed on a firm based whitelist?

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Would the whitelisted apps be installed by the device admin before they distribute the devices? If so then it's possible to lock the Marketplace so users can't download any more applications after that, but there's no way to stop a user flashing a Custom ROM on the device to get around such restrictions. Related question: android.stackexchange.com/questions/23454/… –  Peanut Jan 9 '13 at 11:17
    
Also do you want this for Enterprise use or to be able to do it for a home user? –  Peanut Jan 9 '13 at 14:00
    
its more a "does it work with android" question, i need this for a presentation. so its corporate on the one hand and parental control on the other. –  reox Jan 9 '13 at 14:26

2 Answers 2

It is possible, there are apps available that are designed for enterprise use such as SureLock and MobiControl (go to Device LockDown Policy on this page) that will restrict users to allowed applications only.

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Don't those only restrict the use of already installed apps? I understand the question as referring to "user should be allowed to install apps from the playstore -- but only those we whitelist", and not "user should be able to only use certain apps". –  Izzy Feb 28 '13 at 22:37

Yes, these apps are called "Device administrators". You use the Device Administration API to write device admin applications that users install on their devices. The device admin application enforces the desired policies. A system administrator writes a device admin application that enforces remote/local device security policies. These policies could be hard-coded into the app, or the application could dynamically fetch policies from a third-party server.

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Are there examples of already built applications that use this API to stop apps being installed? As far as I was aware this wasn't possible and my reading of the API guide developer.android.com/guide/topics/admin/device-admin.html also suggests this isn't possible as it isn't in the " Policies supported by the Device Administration API." table. –  Peanut Jan 9 '13 at 12:42
    
Here is the trick. You can set policy for the user that he can download application from a specific place(your website). On your website, you can show only applications that you want the user to install. –  ozmank Jan 9 '13 at 12:52
    
How do you do that then? I haven't seen anything like that in the documentation. –  Peanut Jan 9 '13 at 13:15
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yes me neither... thats why i'm asking. the policy is mostly password stuff. –  reox Jan 9 '13 at 13:25
    
Please see the link. These guys are providing the device management solution like the one you are asking.soti.net/Mobicontrol –  ozmank Jan 9 '13 at 13:26

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