While we’re all familiar with searching for the games and utilities we want to download on our iPhones, Apple is giving developers a new way to target audiences with apps you won’t find by browsing the App Store.
As spotted by developer mikeymikey on Twitter, Apple has announced that it is adding support for the distribution of “unlisted” apps, which are discoverable only via a direct link. Apple says possible candidates for unlisted apps are ones for “specific organizations, special events, or research studies, or apps used as employee resources or sales tools.”
Apple explains that an unlisted app will not appear in any of the traditional App Store rankings and categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings. Unlisted apps are recommended for limited audiences, employees using company phones, and apps unable to use the private Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager. Apps that were previously available on the App Store will retain their links but will no longer be visible to the general public.
Getting an unlisted app on the App Store is similar to the App Store review. Developers need to submit a request to receive a private App Store link to your unlisted app. Once the request is approved, the distribution method will change to Unlisted App and will apply to any future versions of the app. Apple says requests for beta or pre-release apps will be declined and distribution methods cannot be changed.