Apple Starts Allowing Unlisted Software on the App Store


Apple Starts Allowing Unlisted Software on the App Store

Apple has introduced the ability to release apps to the App Store that can only be found with a direct link to make it easier for developers to distribute software that isn't for public use.

"Unlisted apps don’t appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings," Apple says in a page on its developer website spotted by MacRumors. "They can also be accessed through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager."

The company says developers can use this capability to distribute apps to specific groups (part-time employees, students, etc.) as well as to "employee-owned devices that aren't eligible to be managed through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager."

There are other ways to release iOS apps in corporate environments, but the ability to download this software via the App Store makes it simpler for the average person to manage. If they can download a social media app or mobile game, they can install the software they need for work.

But there are some limitations. Apple says developers must apply to release unlisted apps—likely to prevent abuse by devs looking to avoid scrutiny for their software—and it notes that anyone with the direct link used to access the app will be able to install it on their devices.

Apple says that "apps for specific organizations, special events, or research studies, or apps used as employee resources or sales tools are good candidates for unlisted distribution." Devs can submit an application to release an unlisted app via the Apple Developer website.

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