Apple acknowledges app-crashing bug, now resolved, was their fault
6th Jul 2012 | 19:23
Apple's own FairPlay DRM was likely to blame
Apple has accepted the blame for Thursday's spate of app crashes, which affected well over 100 apps and an unknown number of customers worldwide.
The company said late Thursday that the problem was on one of their servers, but that it's now been resolved.
"We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded," Apple said in a statement.
"The issue has been rectified and we don't expect it to occur again," they added, claiming that only a small number of users were affected.
The bug caused freshly updated apps across a range of Apple devices to crash upon being opened, before even reaching their splash screens.
Users with a broken app can re-download it from the App Store to fix the crashing bug, but there's no need to delete and reinstall, as that may cause data to be lost.
Apple's FairPlay DRM to blame?
Several developers, including Fugitive Pixels CEO Francisco Castillo and Readdle CEO Igor Zhadanov, yesterday blamed Apple's FairPlay DRM for the crashes.
It seems likely that the DRM Apple mentions in their statement is indeed the FairPlay scheme, although Apple didn't name it specifically.
The damage is done
Although Apple claims only a small number of users were affected, the damage to many developers' reputations is already done.
Instapaper creator Marco Arment spent yesterday compiling a list of all affected apps before giving up due to the sheer number of reports he was receiving.
Arment wrote on his blog that he was "deluged by support email and Twitter messages" from irate customers "within minutes" of his app's new update going live.
Similarly, Metronome+ developer Joe LeBlanc wrote to TechRadar yesterday that users of his app in the US, Japan, Korea, Germany, and France flooded his inbox with complaints as soon as his new update went live.
"It's frustrating," he said. "I've already gotten slammed in the reviews (for example nine 1 stars in Japan - my biggest market) because users are not able to use my app and they don't know why."
That doesn't sound like it's coming from a small, isolated number of users, as Apple claims, and it may be hard for some smaller developers, like Guerra por Votos creator Castillo, to bounce back.
"I'm extremely pissed off," Castillo wrote to TechRadar yesterday.