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7/5/2012
02:48 PM
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Apple Error Causes Faulty iOS App Store Updates

Developers and users of some of the App Store's most popular apps for iOS were having major issues over the Fourth of July holiday. Apps, such as InstaPaper and Angry Birds, would crash on launch after an App Store update.

Developers and users of some of the App Store's most popular apps for iOS were having major issues over the Fourth of July holiday.

App Store logo - broken
Applications such as Instapaper suddenly began crashing after an App Store update, as the app's developer, Marco Arment, noticed.

His 4.2.3 update to Instapaper was submitted to Apple, and worked without a hitch. However, as soon as it went public, users couldn't get it to launch. It would crash immediately. Stranger yet, was the fact that several hours later, the app was working for people who downloaded the update. Apps like Angry Birds Space HD Free and GoodReader for iPad saw the same issue (as well as at least 40 other apps that Arment knew of), and later started working suddenly as if nothing had happened with no explanation or clarification from Apple.

Those who downloaded the applications during the short period of time that the updates were faulty, will have to delete the app and reinstall it. Not a huge hassle with iOS, but still a problem that many users don't expect to face within the confines of Apple's walled garden.

Instapaper Logo
Apple has yet to comment on the matter, and they usually don't. However, there is a bigger problem here.

Developers work hard to create enjoyable, bug-free applications. In this case, many of them did. The applications were at the very least functional. However, some sort of error on Apple's end caused several otherwise bug-free apps to stop working. Arment believes that it was most likely some sort of server bug in Apple's content distribution network for the iOS App Store.

Now, many of those developers are having to explain to their users that the problem was on Apple's end, and that the application updates are in fact working. Sadly, that's difficult to do with millions of potential users. Many of them don't keep up with the technology news, and don't read about App updates. They see the little red update circle, and they know it's time to update their applications. Of course Apple wants it to be that easy, but it has its consequences.

Many of those users trust that things will just work. However, we learned that faulty apps do sometimes make it through Apple's system.

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