Here are the secret apps that only Apple employees get to use

Apple is a company known for its secrecy. New products are developed in design head Jony Ive’s top-secret lab facility, which only a few Apple employees can gain entry to.

When a prototype iPhone 4 was carelessly left in a bar by an Apple employee, the company quickly scrambled to retrieve it, fearful that journalists and competitors could use it to find out what goes on during the making of a new product.

Apple employees are given access to a suite of apps to help them communicate with each other, test devices, and deal with customers that regular people can’t use.

Thanks to hackers exploiting holes in the iPhone’s software and test devices accidentally sent to customers by carriers, we’re able to see some of the apps


AppleConnect is the secure employee-only service that lets Apple employees sign into other apps and services. Interestingly, internal Apple apps often make use of the Android-style swipe pattern system — where you slide your finger through a shape — as well as a normal password.


AppleWeb is the internal website for Apple employees that includes lots of different internal data. It lets employees search for each other’s details, see what’s in the staff canteen, and find out what classes are happening in the gym.

Daily Download

9to5Mac first discovered the Daily Download app in 2011. It’s an internal newspaper for retail employees that updates them on what’s going on in the company.


Tank is an example app built by Apple to demonstrate the capabilities of the Game Kit developer tool. The sample app’s source code was uploaded to GitHub so that app developers can learn from Apple’s multiplayer-only internal game.


What do you do if you want to test the inner settings of someone’s iPhone? Well, if you’re an Apple employee, you download Inferno. It runs through a series of checks for the phone’s hardware and software and knows to shut itself down if the device reaches critical temperature.


iPlano is an app that instructs retail employees where to place items in Apple Stores.


An Apple “Genius” is the name given to an expert who works in an Apple Store and helps to repair customers’ iPhones. The MobileGenius app lets them check customer information and log tests performed on broken devices.


When an Apple employee finds a bug in iOS, they file it using MobileRadar, the company’s internal bug tracking system. Amusingly, the app’s icon is an anteater, because, well, they eat bugs.


This is the app that’s used to test the various components and sensors found in iPhones, iPads, and iPods. There are several Easter eggs hidden inside the app, which have been found after test devices were accidentally sent out to customers. For example, the icon for the serial number function is a box of Cheerios (cereal, get it?).

The Operator app also includes clips of four songs by INXS: Need You Tonight, New Sensation, The Gift and What You Need. It looks like someone at Apple is an INXS fan.


If an Apple employee goes for lunch with a business partner, they snap a photo of the receipt on their iPhone and enter it into the Receipts app, a custom-made expenses solution that automatically calculates employees’ business expenses.

Red Zone Mobile

RZM is an app used by Apple Store managers to compare their performance with other retail locations and previous years. There aren’t any screenshot of this app circulating in public, likely because the app displays internal sales information.


It’s not clear what Skybox does, but it looks like some kind of organisational app like Trello.


This is the employee-only App Store that Apple employees use to download work apps and keep them updated. Like other internal apps, it uses Android-style gestures for additional security.

TouchFighter 2

TouchFighter was an experimental game developed by Apple employees to test the iPhone accelerometer. Players guide the spaceship by tilting the phone to avoid space debris.


We already know that Apple employees often work into the early hours of the morning replying to emails from managers. Well, UniBox is probably one of the apps they use. It sends notifications from Apple to employees’ phones and also serves as a corporate voicemail client.

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