Apple launches support for unlisted App Store apps accessible via link

Posted:
in General Discussion
The App Store now supports unlisted apps that are only accessible with a link, Apple has announced in an update on its developer website.

Apple App Store logo
Apple App Store logo


Unlisted app distribution allows developers to release apps that aren't meant for public use. Such apps won't appear in any App Store categories, recommendations charts, search results, or listings. Apps can also be accessed through the Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager.

Developers will be able to distribute apps to a limited audience, which could include part-time employees, partners, business affiliates, or conference attendees. In addition, apps can be distributed to employee-owned devices that might not be eligible for an MDM platform.

Apple says that apps aimed at "specific organizations, special events, or research studies, or apps used as employee resources or sales tools" are all good use cases for unlisted app distribution.

The feature is currently available by request only. Developers will need to submit a request to receive a link for an unlisted app. Apple notes that unlisted apps must be ready for distribution -- the company will decline any app in a beta or pre-release state.

Developers will be able to create unlisted distribution links for both new and existing apps. If a request is approved, the app's distribution method will change to "Unlisted App" for both current and future versions. If the app is already listed on the App Store, its primary listing will remain unchanged.

What's not clear is how the app review process may change, if at all. Historically, Apple has taken a hands-off approach to apps distributed with enterprise certificates, until they see mass abuse.

More information about unlisted app distribution, as well as links to submit a request, are available on Apple's developer update website.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 697member
    A soft rollout of an open app structure?
    xyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 2 of 6
    JFC_PA said:
    A soft rollout of an open app structure?
    Likely still has to go through the review process which means not open.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    I think one of the reasons that Apple want to be in control as much as possible is that if for instance an app doesn’t work it interferes with the experience they want to have in their products. I think some people, when an app doesn’t work says ”My phone doesn’t work” when actually the phone works well but the app is not.
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 4 of 6
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,092member
    opinion said:
    I think one of the reasons that Apple want to be in control as much as possible is that if for instance an app doesn’t work it interferes with the experience they want to have in their products. I think some people, when an app doesn’t work says ”My phone doesn’t work” when actually the phone works well but the app is not.
    You must be posting for a different article because nothing in your post is relevant to distributing unlisted apps via direct links.
    edited January 29
  • Reply 5 of 6
    flydog said:
    You must be posting for a different article because nothing in your post is relevant to distributing unlisted apps via direct links.
    No, I was thinking of the idea of an open app structure. Are you a moderator from Appleinsider telling people what to do and not to do here? 
    edited January 29
  • Reply 6 of 6
    JFC_PA said:
    A soft rollout of an open app structure?
    Just under the table, to help prevent unnecessary clutter on the 'Store' from passionate users rating and reviewing the app unnecessarily. I haven't gone through the details with a fine-tooth comb, but it is entirely possible that these apps would not be able to have IAPs. This scenario seems good for businesses to have public testing without limitations of TestFlight, as Apple itself has suggested. 
    edited January 29
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