I work as a developer in a company, The company I work with has to deploy the app I made to their client. Number of clients are 3 and each client has around 100 iPads. Now my question is,

  • What different ways we can use in order to deploy and distribute app seamlessly?
  • How good is AppCentral to distribute applications?
  • 3
    If you've already asked on Programmers SE, there is no point asking it again here. Especially since this isn't programming related. – Abizern Jan 26 '12 at 10:37
  • I didn't know you could distribute apps outside the appstore. Do the devices have to be jailbroken though? – Mihalis Bagos Jan 26 '12 at 11:13
  • @Abizern , I always want to be good citizen, but my question was not totally about programming but mostly related to developers and stackoverflow has more traffic than programmers. I am aware of the fact that I shouldn't but sometimes you don't have an option...at the end we come here to get answers, am I right? – TeaCupApp Jan 26 '12 at 11:14
  • @MihalisBagos , there are options like Ad-Hoc distribution but not really worth as I don't want my client to get enterprise developer account and other way is to distribute by B2B but thats only for USA. – TeaCupApp Jan 26 '12 at 11:17
  • 2
    Just because it has more traffic is no reason to ask your question here. You could use that to justify asking other types of questions here as well, which doesn't make it right. And you do have an option; not asking the question. You're acting as if you have a right to get your questions answered, and if it gets no traffic at one site you can ask at a different one. Have you asked on the Apple Developer Forums? That has a lot of traffic, and some insider knowledge. – Abizern Jan 26 '12 at 12:14

There are three options:

  1. If it's more than 100 devices, get the client to sign up to an Apple Enterprise account then they can deploy the app via an ad-hoc build to all their employee's devices without needing to individually add each device UDID to the provisioning profile. (If it's less than 100 devices they can just get a regular developer account, but it's still a lot of hassle provisioning and maintaining that number of devices individually).

  2. You could get the company to bulk-buy the app from you using the B2B bulk purchase program (US only - http://www.apple.com/business/vpp/).

  3. You could deploy the app to the app store as normal and require a login to use it. Give the login to all employees at the company, but don't make it available to the general public.

  • Thanks Nick, and do you have any idea of AppCentral? Is it worth? – TeaCupApp Jan 26 '12 at 11:11
  • I've not used it, but from what I can tell it's just a fancy way of managing devices that are distributed using an AdHoc Enterprise build - so basically it's an optional extra on top of option 1. from my list. It seems like you'd use it with your own Enterprise account though instead of using your client's account - I was under the impression you weren't supposed to do that (bypass the app store by selling app binaries directly to customers without giving Apple 30%) but maybe AppCentral have a special agreement with Apple or something. – Nick Lockwood Jan 26 '12 at 11:18
  • I doubt option 3 is viable -- it won't get through the review process. – piobyz Jan 26 '12 at 16:13
  • 1
    It's been done plenty of times before. As long as you give the reviewer a login, it doesn't seem to be a problem. – Nick Lockwood Jan 26 '12 at 16:29
  • @NickLockwood You're right, Google+.app would be a good example. I confused limited functionality with time-limit (the latter is not allowed). – piobyz Jan 26 '12 at 17:03

You may consider the use of some Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. Generally, they are subscription-based (per month/annum) per user (device) license, and allow for remote monitoring and management of the device.

Two such products in this area are Fiberlink's MaaS360 or Air Watch, and allow for both app types (public/enterprise) to be distributed from within their main admin portal area. You could upload or point the portal to your .ipa file (no provisioning file needed) and then get it to push your app OTA to any devices registered with the software.

Hope this is of some help as to the alternative app distribution methods out there.

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