The App Store will now allow developers to restrict their apps so they’re only viewable by people with a direct link to the page. Apple foresees the ability to unlist apps being used for exciting purposes such as hiding a company’s employee app or their sales tools. I suppose apparent exclusivity is one way to make people actually want an app.
“Unlisted apps don’t appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings,” wrote Apple on its Developer website. “They can also be accessed through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager.”
Typically app developers want as many people downloading and using their app as possible, all the better to rake in that sweet cash money (or personal information they can then exchange for sweet cash money). However, more specialised apps targeted at specific limited audiences frequently aren’t like other girls, and don’t crave prom queen popularity.
Such apps may include those created for an event or conference, those intended for students of a particular school, or those which are only used by employees of a certain business. Developers can now elect to make knowledge of these apps invite-only, so as to guard against the wave of random interlopers who no doubt would otherwise rush to install them.
It will also help declutter the App Store, so you don’t have to scroll through 50 billion irrelevant corporate apps whenever you do a search.
In order to unlist an app, developers must submit a request and wait for approval. The app has to be completed and ready for release though, so it can’t be in beta. If approved, the app will be unlisted and a link to the App Store listing will be generated, which developers can then write in lemon juice to slip to their secret club at recess.
Apps which were initially listed but then unlisted will still retain the same URL, so if your app was already live it won’t suddenly disappear for people stalking its App Store page. Though if anyone is sitting on the page and staring longingly at a corporate app, maybe you should just let them in. Clearly they’re in desperate need of some excitement.