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I have a requirement to pilot a new version of an iOS app distributed via the B2B app store with a known set of users, in the production environment and for a duration of our choosing before rolling it out to all users.

The app is a client for an enterprise back-end application. Each of my customer organisations get a bespoke build of the app which connects to their own instance of the back-end application which they host.

We distribute the app to customers via the B2B App Store by making it available to their Volume Purchase Programme.

The options I can find are:

  • Phased release for automatic updates. This doesn't allow us to choose the specific pilot users or the duration of the pilot, so isn't suitable.
  • TestFlight. The pilot needs to be in the production environment, so TestFlight doesn't seem suitable as it's a tool for distributing apps for testing, which isn't what we're doing here.
  • Publish a new app (not just a new version of the existing app). This could be installed on just the pilot users' devices. This meets the requirements but seems like a hack... and one Apple might not like because it's effectively a duplicate app, which their terms & conditions frown upon.
  • Add any new functionality disabled via configuration, then enable it by changing the app settings for just the pilot users. This adds significant complexity to the development process which we'd like to avoid.

Is there an Apple approved solution for this in the B2B app store which meets the requirements of being able to choose the users and the duration?

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