Distribute Custom Apps to Apple devices
Custom Apps are apps developed to meet your organisation’s specific needs by your own development team or a third-party developer. They’re distributed privately and securely to members of your organisation through Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager or Apple Business Essentials. Your developers submit Custom Apps through App Store Connect and assign the apps to your Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager or Apple Business Essentials account. Once approved, they’re available to your organisation so only you can view and access them.
Custom Apps allow you to leverage the scale and ease of use of the App Store while also providing:
Security features for sensitive or private organisation data
A tailored look and feel, such as your organisation’s logo or branding
Unique features for users within your organisation
Specific functionality for a process or workflow
Special configuration for IT environments
Custom features for enterprise partners, clients, dealers or franchises
Important information about Custom Apps
There are certain considerations you should take into account before you have a developer create a Custom App for your organisation:
App review: Each Custom App, as well as each updated version submitted for custom distribution, goes through the app review process with Apple. The same app review guidelines for App Store apps apply to Custom Apps. The review process typically takes 1–2 days. For more information about the app review process, see App Review on the Apple Developer website.
App security: If your app contains sensitive business data, you should include an authentication mechanism within the app. Apple highly recommends using best practices for in-app authentication and encryption. For more information on secure coding best practices, see Security Framework on the Apple Developer website.
App verification: To verify that Custom Apps meet the review guidelines, Apple needs to sign in and operate the app. Work with your developer or business partner to determine how to meet this requirement with appropriate handling of proprietary or sensitive data. To protect confidentiality for the purposes of app review, provide generic test accounts or sanitised sample data.
Distribution: Custom Apps are distributed privately within the Apps and Books section of Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager, or the Apps section of Apple Business Essentials. IT teams can leverage the same App distribution model as App Store apps, including device-based assignments and Managed app capabilities. Developers designate organisations that are allowed to access the app, and can privately distribute to specific organisations. If you’re supporting a global user base, it’s important to mark the app as globally available when submitting through App Store Connect.