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My company distributes an app on the regular AppStore. Some customers host the backend on-premises and are not updating the backend as often as we update the app. We've told our customers that if they don't follow the backend upgrade, they should use an MDM software to manage the installation/update of the app on the phones of their employees.

We're supposed to deliver critical/security fixes to the older version of the app. So for example, the latest app on the store is v2.0.0, a customer has v1.2.0 and we make a security patch on v1.2.1.

We can't distribute v1.2.1 and v2.0.0 to the store at the same time, nor can we just send an IPA build from Bitrise.

We do not build ad-hoc apps (but we could, if that's the way to go) and we (currently) don't have Apple Business Manager.

Is there a step by step guide for folks like me who have not come in contact with "alternative" forms of app distribution? Thanks!

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  • Get the program to check your website for codes which can trigger an automatic update - if the codes match they are up to date, if the code on the website is newer then…
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:43
  • That won't work. They might have new employees/devices that need the older app version installed, we need a way to distribute an older app version to them than the one that's available on the App Store.
    – eagerMoose
    Apr 4, 2022 at 14:58

1 Answer 1

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You basically have two options that are easy to go to:

  1. Have two entries for your app on the App Store. One is "MyProduct Classic" and one is "MyProduct Modern" so that your 1.x app is renamed "classic", and you release the 2.x app under the "modern" name. You can ofcourse use any naming scheme you want here.

  2. Ask customer's that want to distribute the old app to do so using enterprise distribution. You can then send them the ´.ipa` file and they basically host their own "app store" so that their users can install the app from there.

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