Private App publishing allows you to skip the step of the Apple Review and host your iOS app privately instead of publicly. You can distribute your iOS app to the audience you wish by just providing them with a URL link to download the app from.
Private App Store is a great example for a number of different industries whose apps need to be deemed private (eg large companies that want to distribute apps not suitable for public use across their workforce and thus want to keep them private), but even for you to share your apps with your internal teams or even your customers.
For a quick overview, please see the following video:
Private app publishing requires a separate developer account (Apple Enterprise Developer Program account - not the account you use for the regular Apple Store) for distributing proprietary apps internally. You can check the Apple Developer Enterprise Program page for more details.
Note: Apple requires your organization to have a D-U-N-S Number so that they can verify your organization’s identity and legal entity status.
Private App Store App Publishing
- Unlike iOS apps that need to be published into the App Store and undergo Apple review before being approved and posted in the App Store, the PAS apps are published using an Enterprise Developer account and there's no Apple Review process
- You'll publish as normal, but select the "Private Publishing" option instead. Plug in your email address, Apple Enterprise Program username and password, and you'll receive the app URL via email. You can then distribute this URL to your clients.
- Check the Publishing a Private App Store (PAS) app KB article for more information
Installing a Private App on an iOS device
- App users will be given a URL link. Though this link they will download/install the app on their iOS device
- In order for users to use Private App Store apps on their iOS devices, they will need to go through a process of trusting the publisher of the app. Check the Installing and trusting a Custom Enterprise iOS App KB article to find out what steps are required.
- Then users will be able to install and use the app.
Enabling PAS on the CMS side
Check the Enabling the Private App Store (PAS) Add-On KB article
Push Notification Certificates on PAS apps
PAS apps do not have the option to renew push notification certs within the Partner’s dashboard, as is the case with regular iOS apps. To renew the push notification certs, the app will have to be republished.
To republish the app, the client will need:
- Enterprise Developer account’s login and team name
- An app-specific password
- 2FA secret code generated when republishing the app