Apple will now let developers distribute unlisted apps through the App Store that only users with a direct link can access. While unlisted apps aren’t discoverable by the general public through search results, App Store categories, charts, or recommendations, they’re available to administrators via the Business Manager or Apple School Manager.
The iPhone manufacturer also notes that unlisted apps 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 make an app unlisted and obtain a link, developers will first need to submit a request to Apple. Apps that have only been approved for private download on the Business Manager or School Manager require developers to take some extra steps.
If the app is available on the App Store, the link for the now-unlisted app will stay the same. The unlisted apps “must be ready for final distribution” and Apple won’t approve any apps still in beta or a pre-release state.