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App Store apps can now be published as ‘unlisted’

01.02.2022 03:22 AM
App Store apps can now be published as ‘unlisted’
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App Store apps can now be published as ‘unlisted’
Apple will now allow developers to distribute unlisted apps through the App Store that can only be accessed by users with a direct link (via MacRumors), while unlisted apps cannot be discovered by the general public through search results, App Store categories, schemas, or The recommendations, however, are available to administrators through Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager, according to theverge report.

Unlisted apps are ideal for a “limited audience” Apple notes that unlisted apps are ideal for “limited audiences,” such as guests at a special event, members of an organization, participants in a research study, or a particular group of employees, to make an app unlisted and get Link, developers will first need to submit a request to Apple.

However, apps that are specifically approved for download to Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager require developers to take some additional steps.

Apple says developers will need to "create a new app history in the App Store" and upload the binary, then "set the distribution method to Public, and developers who already have public apps can submit a request without additional steps."

Once Apple approves the request, the way the app is distributed will change to “Unlisted app.” The same is true for any updated versions of that app, and if the app is already available on the App Store, the link for the unlisted app will now remain the same. It’s also important to note That unlisted apps “must be ready for final distribution,” and that Apple will not approve any apps that are still in beta or in a pre-release state.

A somewhat similar policy under the Enterprise Developer Program, which was originally set up for developers to test and distribute apps internally before they were formally reviewed by Apple, has seen bad actors use the program to avoid Apple's stringent safety requirements.

This has led to the mysterious existence of pirated games, gambling and porn apps that can be easily downloaded on iPhones. It is not clear how strict the review process is for unlisted apps, but Ars Technica's findings suggest that it will only be intended for apps with a limited audience.
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