I'd use the API access to create a collection page filter. This I would use on many of my clients' stores. But the app would only act as a middleman and not the whole filter. Furthermore there would be other endpoints in the app that would allow me to access other parts of the Admin such as locations.
I'd like to know whether it is best practice to create an unlisted public app that I can install on many stores (if it even gets past review) or to create a lot of private apps with essentially the same backend?
If the intention is to use the app on many stores, you should create a public app as this is what public apps are intended for. Even if you choose not to list it in the app store, creating a public app and going through the review process will ensure the best experience for merchants using the app, and will save you alot of headache trying to manage the various API credentials.
JB | Developer Support @ Shopify
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