Android enterprise device management

Is like to get some general android image building advice. We’re using the CC6 module to develop a specialised android tablet to interface to, configure, test and setup our products (mining and industrial safety and management devices). The tablet has multiple custom wireless radios and wired ports like CAN to communicate with our devices, together with standard wifi, ethernet etc.
Writing the apps is simple enough. I would like to get some advice (from someone who’s done this before) on managing android devices for business use.

The initial idea was simple; we would write a kiosk mode app that would block the user from all functionality except the apps we wrote. This in itself presents a few questions, like how can we ensure the apps stay up to date on all devices, and how could we push new apps to the device’s when released?

I felt reluctant about the idea of a totally blocking kiosk app as this would block the end user away from the majority of the benefits of using android for such a device. This was confirmed by some of our early interest customers, who feel it would be useful to allow users access to some standard apps like calendars, notes, camera, maps etc.

This however opens the next can of worms. Hoe do we manage usage rights? Should we do this, or should the mine manage what it’s employees can use?

I’ve done some research and there are options. Surelock seems to be a good one. I especially like the idea of their mdm tool. But it’s expensive and worse, license based. It also seems like android lollipop will incorporate many such features with vastly extended user profile management tools etc, but I suspect Digi would rather throw their efforts into long term support for kitkat than hastily bring support for L…
I also read about android for work, which I don’t fully grasp yet, but also seems to provide some of the functionality I want like distributing apps only within an organisation etc.

In summary:

  1. How can i manage app updates, and release new ones?
  2. Assuming i do this through Google play, how can I set up the app filters to allow it to be installed ONLY on this device, or allow users to only see certain apps in the play store?
  3. What tools are available to remotely manage devices?
  4. How can I restrict access to certain apps / content?
  1. How can i manage app updates, and release new ones?
    In your app in the menu create an option to check for new version. This check will go to a link compiled in to the app that will lead to your secure web server that will have the updated version. The app will download and install an update. You do not need to do this via google play

  2. How can I restrict access to certain apps / content?
    There are few applock apps on google play that allow you to decide which apps/setting user can start and which one require a password.