It is undeniable that demand for iOS phones in this modern tech era is increasing like anything. The most common platform for iOS app distribution is Apple App Store.
where your built app is made available to every Apple user. You'll be able to set in-app purchases and assign a purchase price in order to help monetize the app.
Publishing your app on the iOS store takes your app to a huge customer base. Although being an intuitive platform for the developers, sometimes there is a huge delay in the approval process. In few cases, it even takes months for the apps to get approved. But don't worry. There are various other alternatives to sharing iOS apps. So, here we have some of the alternatives that enable you to share apps besides the App store.
1. Ad- hoc Deployment
Apple provides an option for specific types of users. If developers want to share iOS apps for the private beta or a temporary distribution, Apple provides an Ad-hoc app deployment option for them. In this process, the app developer is supposed to deliver the app binary to each user through email or download URL. Developers are required to add the UDID (Unique Device ID) of each device and register them to Apple Member Center to make sure that the binary works on the user's device. The UDID must be manually registered with your provisioning profile. It is to be noted that App binary would only run on any regular device that is registered in the above discussed ways. Your ad hoc profile makes sure that test versions of your app are not copied and distributed as per your approval. Also, the developer profile is valid only for one year. After that, you need to rebuild your app with a new profile.
2. Xcode Deployment
The Xcode option is also another great option to export your application without publishing on the Apple store. The app binary can be distributed with MDM (Mobile device management), once it has been exported.
Also, a developer needs to acquire the UDID of each device to share an iOS app. After that just install the app on the device. Before going for this deployment option, make sure to create an Apple Developer Account which costs around $99 per year. Whenever a new UDID is being added, you need to create a new version of your application. They can be added only till yearly subscription. However, the distribution process is restricted to 100 iPhones, 100 iPad, and 100 iPods touch installations.
3. Enterprise In-House App Deployment
Enterprise-in-house app distribution method came to counter the ad-hoc distribution process. However, you don’t need to add the UDID of every device here like what you did in Ad-hoc. Also, the approval process of your app by iOS regulators isn’t at all required. All the users in the enterprise can use the account to share iOS apps. The organization is fully responsible for app distribution and updates, whether done manually by email or through an MDM. Although, there is no limit to the devices, the devices must be owned by the organizations. Your published app won’t be available on the Apple Store so the public can’t purchase or install from it. The major cons of this deployment option for some developers is that Enterprise app distribution requires an Apple Enterprise Developer Account which may cost you around $299 every year which is higher as compared to a normal account at $99 per year. You also need to keep in mind that this program is only intended for employees within the small organizations. For instance, this method is for internal distribution in those companies which have more than 500 employees.
4. B2B VPP App Deployment
Apple’s VPP (Volume Purchase Program) permits you to have a private app store for your personal business. Every internal app binary that has been built for every device should join your organization. You even have an option where you can share an iOS app with other businesses. But wait. This process does have an approval process, but it is flexible as your app is not available for the general audience. Being a private store, VPP app distribution is handled by the program, the process mostly used with MDM service.
One of the major pros of this deployment is that you will get a private app store for your business. Every device that has joined the program, this app can be installed and used.
Before planning for an actual app deployment plan, choosing a right program to use is very necessary. These processes may however seem daunting, but with the right approach and proper planning, you can ensure the success of your app. What you need is just abide by the rules and guidelines mentioned above and your app will be published without undergoing any approval process.