Discoverable through a link, Apple enables secret apps on the App Store
A gateway has opened, Apple enables secret apps so that developers are able to share private applications directly with a link. Prior to this, only pre-approved apps were allowed on the Apple App Store. With the update, limited audiences such as students or employees can now download and install unlisted apps that were previously restricted.
Since these secret apps on the App Store are unlisted, they’re not made available to the general public. As Apple enables secret apps, only administrators will be able to link out their apps through their Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager accounts, providing a safe gateway to the consumers. This would be beneficial for businesses, recruitment tools, research studies, and special events.
According to Apple, unlisted apps on the Apple App Store must be ready for distribution, excluding beta and pre-release versions. The tech company has stated that developers must first create a new app record in Apple App Store, upload the binary, and then configure the distribution method to “Public”. If the guidelines aren’t met, the apps will be rejected.
Following approval, a URL will be generated to access the completed app. Apple has also stated that they will not accept apps that are still in the beta or pre-release phase. The company also runs TestFlight, a developer-only service for testing iOS and iPadOS apps, and it appears as Apple enables secret apps, they don’t want the two services to overlap.
For the most part, the Apple App Store is a safe, trusted platform for users to acquire their apps, However, it’s possible that the company has too much control over what their customers may do with their iPhones. While secret apps on the App Store are meant to be useful, they do emphasize Apple’s power trip on app distribution.