Deploying apps and books in volume to Apple devices
You can assign apps and books—including app updates—in a variety of ways to devices and users in any country where the app is available from that country’s App Store, even if the App Store is disabled (Developers make their apps available in multiple countries through the standard App Store publishing process in iTunes Connect).
Note: Books purchased through Apple Business Manager or volume purchasing can be distributed through managed book distribution, but they can’t be revoked and reassigned.
Type of app or book
Can be assigned to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
Can be assigned to users
Free or paid apps purchased through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager
(iOS 9 or later)
(iPadOS 13.1 or later)
(OS X 10.11 or later)
(iOS 7 or later)
(iPadOS 13.1 or later)
(OS X 10.9 or later)
Free or paid books purchased through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager
Distribute apps to devices
For devices to participate in managed distribution, they must be enrolled in your MDM solution. After an app is assigned to a device, it’s pushed to that device through MDM, with no invitation required. Anyone using that device has access to that app. You can reassign an app to a different device when necessary.
Note: For in-app purchases, neither an Apple ID or a Managed Apple ID can be used with apps assigned to a device rather than to a specific user.
The following apply to apps that are assigned to a device:
Apps may be automatically removed when a user unenrolls the device from MDM.
Apps aren’t automatically reinstalled after a restore from backup.
Apple Configurator 2 also allows device-based app assignment. See Install apps with Apple Configurator 2.
Note: If you previously assigned apps to users, MDM solutions can perform a silent migration from per-user assignments to per-device assignments. The device must be enrolled in an MDM solution. Refer to your MDM solution’s documentation for more information.
Distribute in-house apps and books to devices
In-house apps and books are distributed to devices, not users. Devices must be enrolled in an MDM solution to install in-house apps and books, apps and books purchased through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. When a user unenrolls from MDM, in-house apps and books are removed from the device.
Distribute apps and books to users that have a Managed Apple ID
Users with Managed Apple IDs don’t require an invitation or acceptance. You can use Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager to assign apps directly to users.
Distribute apps and books to users that have a personal Apple ID
Users with personal Apple IDs must be invited and accept the invitation to participate in distribution of the app. Because devices don’t need to be enrolled in MDM, this distribution method is ideal for organizations where users bring their own devices (BYOD). Apps and books distributed to a user through your MDM solution aren’t shared with family members if the user has a Family Sharing account with iCloud.
Follow these steps to distribute apps to users with personal Apple IDs:
Assign apps to users: Before you invite users, you should first assign apps or books to them. This provides more time for the assignment to propagate to the user’s purchase history after the user accepts the invitation.
Invite the user or group: The user’s personal Apple ID is linked to your organization (without revealing the Apple IDs to you). This means you don’t need to create an Apple ID for these users.
The user accepts the invitation: The user’s personal Apple ID is linked to your organization (without revealing the Apple IDs to you). This means you don’t need to create an Apple ID for these users. Apps assigned to a user appear in that user’s App Store purchase history. You can prompt the user to accept the app, or you can silently install the app on supervised devices enrolled in your MDM solution. You can also assign more apps and books at any time.
Reassign apps: When a user no longer needs an app, you can reassign it to a different user; you can’t reassign books.
Note: Some Apple Books content may not available in certain countries or regions. To learn whether certain Apple Books content is available in your country or region, see Availability of Apple programs for education and business.