I would like to get a recommendation for the distribution method for an in-house, location-specific AR iOS app.
The app can be described as follows:
1) iOS app that offers an AR experience in an art gallery-like location.
2) The site is owned by the owner of the AR app.
3) The app is used by the visitors of the gallery.
4) The visitors, need to purchase a ticket, which among other things entitles them to borrow a device with an AR application running.
5) For a limited time, they can walk around a designated area on-site, while enjoying a game-like experience.
6) The experience consists of a series of events, that are triggered by the different physical objects within the area.
From the extensive and thorough WWDC presentation on iOS distribution methods (https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2019/304/) I have come to a conclusion, that the most suitable method for the above application is Custom Apps, however, the presenter stated, that for this method to work, the requirement is that all application functionalities must be available to the Apple Review Team.
The challenge here is, that the whole experience is built with a specific location in mind and depends on physical markers located on-site. Considering that, it would be difficult to enable all the functionalities to the review team, as they would need to be on-site to test the app in a production-ready state. Alternatively, the app could be modified, so that it could potentially be experienced off-site, however, that would likely come at a considerable development cost and would not represent the actual experience anyway.
My hope would be that it could be considered a valid exception and possibly be explained in the distribution notes for the review team allowing the app to pass the review without offering the actual experience to the review team, maybe with a video presenting the app functions as a substitute.
That said, I am expected to deliver a proposal that can, without a doubt, be used for the deployment of such application.
In case the app is not considered an exception for Custom Apps distribution, another possible option would be the Apple Developer Enterprise Program, however, that comes with a requirement, that the app must be distributed to employees and no one else and in this case, the users are the visitors of the facility, so not employees.
Ad Hoc and TestFlight are meant for testing and come with some limitations that do not scale well.
I imagine this kind of scenario will become more frequent as AR apps are a great way to enhance the experience in facilities like museums, that are tied to specific locations.
I am not sure if Apple representatives review these forums, however, I hope someone will be able to provide a recommendation as to, which distribution method to use in the case I described.