Publish apps internally

The Digital Publishing landscape has diversified and apps are being published for various reasons.

However there are business reasons why apps cannot be submitted to the App Store.

One reason can be that the App Store’s submission guidelines might not approve the content. Think of an app having only pure marketing content.

Another reason might be that your business rules do not allow the content to be visible to everyone. Think of an app where information is either internal (sales tools, internal employee information, financial dashboards, repair manuals etc.) or where it is forbidden by law to publish the information outside a closed user group (medical or pharmaceutical information, financial data etc.).

Of course you could use alternative methods and create an ePub, a PDF, a HTML page or even just app content (for a good example of app content only see this site: http://mobile.deltav.com/tablet/interactivebrochure/).

However you might loose the advantages an app gives you. Besides the obvious ones like:
– Ease of distribution
– Make use of the tablets capabilities
– Advanced user experience
– Automatic update or at least a notification when the content changes
– Offline usage
another advantage of distributing native apps can be in the control of the distribution.

Control over the distribtion is especially important if your content is confidential or it is forbidden by law to distribute it to unauthorized readers. For example, a PDF can just be passed on.

For that Apple offers another App Store, the Enterprise App Store, which is different from the public App Store (iTunes) everybody knows. You are allowed to create and run such a store yourself as part of Apple’s Enterprise Program for iOS. The term ‘Enterprise’ might be misleading, it has nothing to do with the size of your organization or the number of iOS devices you own. All you need is a DUNS code, which is basically a unique ID for businesses, and pay $299 p.a. to Apple.

With this you can restrict the user group (iPad UDIDs) of who’s allowed to install your in-house app, thus creating a restricted user group. Plus, you get all the benefits you know from native apps. Maybe that’s the reaosn that 92% of the Fortune 500 business are looking into deploying iPads internally (or are already doign it). Apple has a webpage showing some examples of in-house apps being used: https://www.apple.com/iphone/business/apps/in-house/

And just in case you are wondering, yes, you can also use Quark App Studio to quickly create your in-house Enterprise apps and make your content look as professional and well-designed as your other publications.