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We are a small company, and in the past, we used Windows Phones; since we are very much based on Microsoft's services. Now that the Windows phones have all been replaced by Android phones, our smartphones at work are in a sort of limbo state.

Without a Google account, the Play Store is somewhat limited, and new apps need to be installed via side-loading. While this is feasible if you restrict yourself to trusted sources; however it could also be a disaster waiting to happen.

Is there a way to get a functioning Play Store without creating a Google Account for every employee? One might be forgiven to think that must be a solution to this problem already being thought of.


The reasons why we would like to avoid this are as follows:

  • All work-related communication should run over our Microsoft 365 services, i.e., Outlook for Android, since then they are automatically synced to other devices. If Gmail was available, one can surely bet that some communication will run over Gmail, which would only complicate things.
  • The same holds for the Calendar. I bet with a Google account, some people will (knowingly or unknowingly) use the Google Calendar for work-related dates, which will essentially hide those dates from others who use the Outlook Calendar.
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  • Its hard. MicroG and Aurora will give you back quire a bit of functionality including pulling play store apps. An easier, but more limited alternative would be to use the Fdroid app store. Of-course - and I hate to say it - thevfruit brand may be a better fit - no hacks and no Google hooks - but no free lunch either.
    – davidgo
    Feb 22, 2023 at 9:21
  • As commented by davidgo, this depends on which Android devices and how strict the non-Google policy is, because most devices have Google apps by default where employees can (accidentally or deliberately) log in using their own personal account and use it, unless the apps are disabled. Another possible problem is checking if Microsoft 365 apps depend on Google Play Services or not, which occasionally needs to be updated. The usual solution for this kind of situation is by using MDM, like Android Enterprise Management.
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 22, 2023 at 12:33
  • Just FYI: Microsoft 365 has a Mobile Device Management solution Feb 22, 2023 at 22:25

1 Answer 1

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I would suggest that you stay with the Play Store for safety.

It is perfectly possible to use the same Google account on all devices.

  • You don't need to have separate accounts.
  • This is not a problem, as long as you don't need to differentiate their activities that use a Google Account, such as a calendar.
  • Data will be differentiated for all apps that use email or phone numbers for accounts.
  • It is possible to have multiple accounts when for the odd person, they may want to keep some Google Account activity separate from others in the group.
As an example

We as a family use the same account to install all apps. Then we switch over to our individual accounts. An advantage of this is that we just have to pay once for many of the apps. They use the Google account to verify the purchase.

Another use of multiple accounts

Some apps require that you be in their particular country. Each Google account is tied to a country (as defined in the Payments section). And you can only change this once a year. So, I have 3 accounts for three countries where I have to use their banking apps. For some apps, I also have to switch the VPN at the same time.

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