Unable to search the Play Store from AirWatch - Resolved in AirWatch 8.3.3

Update - This functionality has been re-introduced in AirWatch 8.3.3.  Administrators will again be able to search the Play Store when adding Android applications to the AirWatch Console.

Shutdown of APIs used to search the Play Store

APIs being used by third party libraries that AirWatch currently utilizes when adding public Android applications to the AirWatch Admin Console via the Search App Store option, as shown below, have been shut down.  As such, the AirWatch Admin Console can no longer properly be able to search public applications in the Play Store.  Note that this affects both SaaS and On-Premise AirWatch environments.

However, any applications that are already added in the AirWatch Admin Console will continue to function without any issue.  Similarly, any applications that have been deployed to devices will continue to function without any issue.  This API only affects the searching of the Play Store when adding public applications in the AirWatch Admin Console.

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Workaround for adding applications

Without Android for Work configured

You will still be able to add public Android applications to the AirWatch Admin Console by manually specifying the URL of the application in the Play Store.  To do this, make sure Enter URL is selected when in the Add Application menu.  You can find the application URL by navigating to the Google Play Store in your browser and searching for the appropriate application name, and then copying the URL of the page.  For example, the URL for the AirWatch Android Agent would be: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airwatch.androidagent.

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In the next window, you will need to manually specify the name of the application and (optionally) upload the icon of the application.  This name and icon will only affect what is displayed in the AirWatch Admin Console, not what is displayed on devices that receive the application.  For example, if you choose not to upload an icon, it will not affect the icon that displays on the device when it actually installs the app.  The device-side application name and icon are taken directly from the application when it is installed.

With Android for Work configured

If your deployment is currently utilizing Android for Work functionality, you can use the Import from Play option to add public applications into AirWatch. Note that this option is only available at organization groups of type Customer.  This option will retrieve the application icon and name for any applications approved for the enterprise and will continue to function without issue. More information on how to use this option is provided on page 36 of the Android for Work guide available here.

Workaround for adding apps to Application Groups

Another area that utilizes searching the Play Store is when adding an Android application to an Application Group (for example, when creating a group of whitelisted applications).  In this case, you can add the Application ID and Application Name manually.  The Application ID can also be found by searching for the appropriate application in the Play Store and copying from the URL.  For example, in the case of the Android AirWatch Agent, the URL in the Play Store is https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airwatch.androidagent.  From here, you can derive the the Application ID is simply com.airwatch.androidagent. The name of this application, as displayed in the Play Store, is AirWatch Agent.

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