It is possible to distribute an app through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and restrict its access, preventing it from being publicly available. This allows members of an organization to download applications without relying on a third-party MDM solution. In exchange for a simple end-user distribution model, you must establish organization IDs within Apple and Google's ecosystems.
Note: The sections below outline available distribution options exposed by Apple and Google. However, this does not mean that they are the correct model for internal distribution for your app. Confirm with Apple and Google that the correct model of distribution is being used based on current standards.
App Store Connect
Apple's App Store Connect provides the ability to restrict the distribution of an application to specific Apple IDs and Organization IDs. An organization can see, download, and purchase redemption codes using Apple Business Manager. They can then distribute redemption codes via URL or code.
- From My Apps, select your app, opening the page with the App Store tab selected.
- On the sidebar, click Pricing and Availability.
- Under App Distribution Methods, select Private.
- Under Type, choose either Organization ID or Apple ID, and enter the required information. Enter your Apple Organization ID to make the app visible to the organization's Apple Business Manager account.
You can obtain an Apple Organization ID from an Apple Business Manager account.
- Set your app's distribution methods
- How do Redemption Codes work in Apple Business Manager When Not Using MDM
Managed Google Play
The Google Play Store provides the ability to restrict the distribution of an application to specific Organization IDs. Organizations that have access to the app can download them from the Google Play Store.
- When creating an app in the Google Play Console, go to Release > Setup > Advanced settings.
- Select the Managed Google Play tab.
- In Organizations, click Add organization.
- Add the organization you wish to publish the app to.
You can obtain a Google Organization ID from a Google Workspace Admin account.