Apple has announced on its developer website that the App Store now supports unlisted apps that are only accessible via a direct link. This could be useful for developers or companies to release private apps for their employees or event attendees.
What are Unlisted Apps?
Apple says that unlisted apps “don’t appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings.” These apps are usually geared towards specific organizations, research studies, or even special events. For instance, a company might use an HR app to track employee leaves and other details. Now, if the app were made public in the App Store, non-employees could download it and inundate the company’s IT department with unnecessary support requests.
The app can be distributed through a standard link that can open up in the App Store, Apple Business Manager, or Apple School Manager. It will work in all regions having App Store support.
How to Request a Link for an Unlisted App
To receive a link to your unlisted app, you will first have to submit a request. Developers will be able to create links for both new and existing apps. If Apple approves the request, the app’s distribution method will change to “Unlisted App” in the Pricing and Availability section of the app record. Apple notes that unlisted apps must be ready for distribution. The company will decline requests for any app in beta or pre-release state. This means that it isn’t meant to replace TestFlight, an Apple service used by developers to test apps before releasing them to the App Store.[Via Apple]