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Implement your own apps on Apple devices

Custom apps are apps that you or a third party have specifically developed to meet the specific business needs of your organization. They are privately and securely distributed to members of your organization through Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. Your developers submit customized apps through App Store Connect and assign the apps to your Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager account. Once verified, they will be available to your organization so only you can view and access them.

Customized apps make it possible to take advantage of the potential and usability of the App Store while providing:

  • Security functions for sensitive or confidential company data

  • A tailor-made appearance, such as the company's logo or brand

  • Individual functions for the employees of your organization

  • Special functionality for a business process or workflow

  • Own functions for partners, customers, dealers or franchisees

  • Special configuration for IT environments

Important information about customized apps

App review: Every customized app and updated version sent for corporate distribution goes through the app review process at Apple. The same app review guidelines apply to customized apps as to the App Store. The verification process usually takes 1-2 days. For more information on the app review process, see the App Review website.

App security: If your app contains sensitive business data, consider adding an authentication mechanism to the app. Apple strongly recommends using best practices for app authentication and encryption. For more information on secure programming best practices, see Security Framework on the Apple Developer website.

App review: To ensure that customized apps meet the app review guidelines, Apple must sign in to the app and try out its features. Contact your developer or business partner to meet these requirements by properly handling proprietary or sensitive business data. For app verification purposes, it is recommended that you provide generic test accounts or clean sample data to protect sensitive information.

Distribution: Customized apps are privately distributed within the Apps and Books section of Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager. IT teams can benefit from the same distribution model as for App Store apps. This includes device-based mappings and managed app functions. Developers designate organizations who are allowed to access the app and can privately distribute the apps to specific organizations. In supporting a global user base, it is important to mark the app as "Globally Available" when submitting it through App Store Connect.

Create internal books

You can use your MDM solution to manage internally generated PDF and ePub media so that it remains under the control of your organization. You can assign the books to users, withdraw the books and then assign them to other users if necessary.

Published on: December 14, 2020

See alsoInformation on customized apps in Apple School ManagerInformation on customized apps in Apple Business ManagerDistribution of customized apps as a business modelInformation on how to reach the target group