Apple recently announced its developer website that the App Store now supports unlisted apps that can only be accessed via a link. This means that developers can now publish their apps to the platform that can only be installed through a direct link – the app will not show up in App Store search and discovery.
Apple adds support for unlisted App Store apps accessible through links
Unlisted app distribution allows developers to release apps that are not meant for the general public. These apps do not appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings. Unlisted apps can also be accessed through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager.
This will allow developers to distribute apps to a limited audience such as part-time employees, franchisees, partners, business affiliates, higher-education students, or conference attendees. Developers can also distribute apps to employee-owned devices that aren’t eligible to be managed through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager.
The Cupertino tech giant 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 candidates for unlisted app distribution.
Currently, the feature is available by request only. Developers will need to submit a request to receive a link to their unlisted app. It is important to note that unlisted apps must be ready for final distribution. Requests for apps in beta or pre-release state will be declined.
If a request is approved, the app’s distribution method will change to “Unlisted App” in the Pricing and Availability section of the app record and will apply to any future versions of the app. If the app is already available on the App Store, its current link will remain the same.
Check out Apple’s developer website to learn more about unlisted app distribution or to submit a request for an unlisted app.