I'm building an app that requires users to have an account to log in. There is no way to register an account through the mobile app. The users are hand picked and their username and password are emailed to them prior to downloading the app.

Is this something Apple will give me trouble about during submission to the app store?

Not sure if this is the right forum for this question either.



3 Answers 3


That will not be a problem. Businesses use same practices for employees that connect to work databases. You do not have to give access to everyone just to have your app approved. You just need to meet certain design and security requirements in general. Assuming you do know what those are.

  • 1
    Businesses generally don't submit their apps to the App Store in that kind of case, though. They use Enterprise Distribution to get them to employees.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 5:11
  • Sure, but are they exempt of the same review process? No. This kind of sums it up from Apples website. "We will reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it". And we think that you will also know it when you cross it." Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 5:18
  • 1
    Uh, yes, ED apps are in fact exempt from App Store review because they are not destined for the App Store. There is no review process for ED apps.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 5:22
  • ED, i never said ED. You have to explain to people why and how they should trust you as a developer. Sorry but that is hardly how things should be done. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 7:18
  • 2
    Nothing like a good fist fight on Stack Exchange!
    – etayluz
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 17:15

You should probably consider enterprise distribution as I don't think Apple will approve an app that is ultimately of use only to a (relatively) small group of users. The apps without registration facilities already in the store (such as Amazon's Kindle app, for example) are of wide appeal and people are able to register themselves outside of the app to use it.

I know there some companies who distribute apps via ED to "selected" users (i.e. those on their panels), such as UserTesting.com. They don't have apps in the Store.

That said, this is my opinion and who knows what Apple will ultimately do.

  • Why not just recommend he asks everyone to jailbreak their phones and bypass the whole thing? Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 7:17
  • @norcaljohnny Primarily because that's absurd.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:21
  • @tubedogg I'd say that depends on the audience. It's probably not reasonable, as most iPhone users are unable and/or unwilling to jailbreak (and might not know how to safely maintain a jailbroken device) but OP said the users are hand-picked, so if it's a small enough number of users, maybe none of that is a problem for any of them, at least for the time being.
    – Sparkette
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 18:30

An app I made for my company also uses an external program to register users.
To avoid possible problems with apple I did the following:

  • Created a demo database that apple can use
  • In the "notes for reviewing" I explained the authorisation process
    I said that if they want full access they should email us the authorisation code generated by the app and we will grant them access.

In the end the app was approved and I never got a request from apple for db access.
As long as you explain in detail how the app works, apple won't give you any trouble I expect

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