Tech UPTechnologyThese are Apple's ghost apps

These are Apple's ghost apps

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, charts, or recommendations, they will be available to administrators through Apple Business Manager. or Apple School Manager.

Only for developers and administrators

Apple notes that apps not listed are ideal for limited audiences, such as guests at a special event, members of an organization, research study participants, or a specific group of employees. To get an app unlisted and get a link, developers will first need to submit a request to Apple .

However, apps that have only been approved for private download in Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager require additional steps from developers. Apple says developers will need to create a new app registration on the App Store, upload the binary, and then “set the distribution method to Public. Developers with apps that are already public can submit a request without any additional steps.”

An internal Apple mechanism

Once Apple approves the request, the app’s distribution method will change to Unlisted App, and the same applies to any updated version of that app. If the app is already available on the App Store , the link for the now unlisted app will remain the same. It’s also important to note that apps not listed “must be ready for final distribution” and Apple will not approve any apps that are still in beta or pre-release status.

A somewhat similar policy under the Developer Enterprise Program, which was originally put in place for developers to test and internally distribute apps before they were officially reviewed by Apple, saw bad actors use the program to bypass Apple’s rigorous security requirements. . This led to the shadowy presence of pirated games, gambling, and porn apps that could easily be downloaded onto iPhones. It’s unclear how rigorous the review process will be for unlisted apps, but Ars Technica’s findings suggest it will be reserved only for apps with a limited audience.

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