SST Software – Maatwerk software Enschede
Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

What are the options for distributing an iOS app in the store?

With millions of apps available in the App Store, distributing an iOS app is a crucial step for developers to showcase their creations to the world. Apple provides a wide range of options to facilitate this process. In this blog post, we will explore the different ways developers can distribute their iOS apps through the Apple ecosystem.

Image with phone in hands

App Store

The most well-known and commonly used method to distribute an iOS app is through the App Store. Apple's App Store is a leading platform that allows users to easily discover, download, and install apps on their iOS devices. However, submitting an app to the App Store requires compliance with Apple's guidelines and approval, ensuring a safe and reliable environment for users.


To assist developers in testing their apps before launch, Apple offers TestFlight. This platform enables developers to send their apps to selected users for beta testing. TestFlight provides a streamlined testing experience, supporting tester invitations, feedback collection, and crash report gathering. This helps developers identify and address any bugs or issues before the app is officially launched.

Enterprise Distribution

For organizations looking to distribute internal apps without making them publicly available on the App Store, Apple provides the option of enterprise distribution. This allows businesses to develop their own apps and distribute them internally through a secure network. It is particularly useful for companies that want to utilize custom apps for internal processes and communication.

Image with phone on keyboard

Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager

Distributing iOS apps through Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager provides organizations and educational institutions with an efficient way to distribute and manage apps. Apple Business Manager allows companies to develop and distribute internal apps to their employees, while Apple School Manager enables schools to send educational apps to students and teachers. These platforms simplify the process of app distribution, giving administrators full control over which apps are available and who can access them. Using Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager, organizations and schools can effortlessly distribute iOS apps within their specific business or educational environments.

What is the difference between Apple Enterprise and Apple Business Manager?

Enterprise distribution focuses on distributing custom apps internally within an organization, while Apple Business Manager focuses on managing and distributing apps in a business or educational environment, focusing on control and central management of apps and devices.

Image with phone on table

Ad-hoc Distribution

Ad-hoc distribution is an option for developers to distribute their apps to a limited group of users without involving the App Store. With this method, developers can share apps with selected testers, clients, or other stakeholders. However, it requires adding users' devices to a limited list of allowed devices, which comes with some restrictions.

In summary, the possibilities Apple offers for distributing iOS apps are diverse and flexible. Developers have the freedom to choose the method that best suits their needs, whether it's reaching a wide audience through the App Store, testing apps with TestFlight, distributing internal apps within an organization, or selectively sharing apps through ad-hoc distribution. With the Apple ecosystem, developers can effectively and efficiently present their apps to the world. We can assist you in choosing the right option for your organization.

Bram Wenting

Bram Wenting is co-owner of SST Software and SST Labs. Read his blogs.

Follow Bram

welcome solution

Cookies are required for the contact form. Show cookie notice

fields marked with * are mandatory