Learn about Custom Apps in Apple Business Essentials
Custom Apps are apps developed to meet your organization’s specific business needs. The apps are developed either by you or by a third-party developer. They’re distributed privately and securely to members of your organization through Apple Business Essentials. Your developers submit Custom Apps through App Store Connect and assign the apps to your Apple Business Essentials account. After the apps are approved, they’re available to your organization, so that only you can view and access them from Apps in the sidebar.
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 organization data
A tailored look and feel, such as your organization logo or branding
Unique features for users within your organization
Specific functionality for a business process or workflow
Custom features for partners, clients, dealers, or franchises
Special configuration for IT environments
Purchase Custom App licenses
Before you can purchase Custom Apps, you must first enable the ability to search for them for your organization. See Enable Custom Apps.
In Apple Business Essentials, sign in with a user that has the role of Administrator or Content Manager.
Select Apps in the sidebar, then select the Store button.
Select the location where the Custom App licenses will be initially assigned.
Important information about Custom Apps
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. See the App Review website 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. See the Security Framework article 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 sanitized sample data.
Distribution: Custom Apps are distributed privately within 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 organizations that are allowed to access the app and can privately distribute it to a specific organization. If you’re supporting a global user base, it’s important to mark the app as globally available when submitting through App Store Connect.