Apple’s App Store is both a source of immense power for the business and a cause of frustration for anyone trying to do anything other than download pre-approved programs.

For example, businesses have been able to use developer accounts to run internal apps, but as Facebook discovered, Apple frequently operates in unusual ways.

Techradar reports after MacRumors discovered an Apple Support document detailing the process for organizations, developers, and anybody else that seeks to distribute unlisted programs using merely a link, that might all change.

Developers can now request an unlisted app from Apple, which will not appear in the App Store’s search recommendations, categories, charts, or anywhere else.

The Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager services can be used to access unlisted apps.

Unlisted apps, according to Apple, are designed for special events, organizations, research studies, and employee tools (eg, for sales).

The apps will be available in all App Store-enabled territories.

While the addition of unlisted apps as a distribution option for developers is welcome news, particularly for organizations searching for a legal way to distribute properly-made apps, there are certain disadvantages, as developer Steve Troughton-Smith has pointed out.

He tweeted: “Unlisted apps sound like it could be neat, but it looks like it has some big caveats.

“Also doesn’t seem like my Individual developer account is authorized to request an unlisted link.

“Business-only? “Note: Once your app is approved, the distribution method cannot be changed.”

According to Apple, unlisted apps must be ready for distribution, eliminating beta and pre-release versions, and anything outside of these guidelines will be rejected.

The company even now operates TestFlight, a developer-specific provision for testing iOS and iPadOS apps, and seemingly the business doesn’t want too much edge between the services.

Techradar argues this may contribute to the broader narrative about the App Store advanced by various competitors, the EU, the UK, and certain American lawmakers.

This is the view that Apple wields much too much influence over what people may do with their iPhones.

it says while unlisted apps are intended to be beneficial – and they truly will be for many corporations and developers – it does further highlight Apple’s extraordinary control over apps on its platforms.

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