Devs livid at Apple's refusal to acknowledge iOS and Mac app crashes
5th Jul 2012 | 21:47
Users are retaliating with negative reviews
Reports are flooding in from all sides that a variety of apps and games across all Apple devices are spontaneously and inexplicably crashing after being updated.
Developers and users from all over the world reported that app updates that were found stable during testing are causing apps to crash before even reaching the splash screen, turning the screen black and returning devices to their home screens.
Multiple app developers chimed into the debate, and Instapaper creator Marco Arment has even compiled a list of all affected apps, updating it throughout the day.
"Last night, within minutes of Apple approving the Instapaper 4.2.3 update, I was deluged by support email and Twitter messages from customers saying that it crashed immediately on launch, even with a clean install," wrote Arment on his blog.
"This didn't make sense," he continued. "Obviously, Apple had reviewed it, and it worked for them. My submitted archive from Xcode worked perfectly. But every time I downloaded the update from the App Store, clean or not, it crashed instantly."
He says that Instapaper was fixed after a few hours, but notes that the problem is "not isolated" - his blog lists well over 100 apps and games known to be affected.
Developers blame Apple
Arment blames "a seemingly corrupt update being distributed by the App Store in many or possibly all regions" on his blog, and other developers seem to agree.
Metronome+ developer Joe LeBlanc told TechRadar that there's "definitely something going wrong with the package that is being delivered to the user from the app store."
LeBlanc's app was updated yesterday, and no sooner did he notice the issue on his own device than users in the US, Japan, Korea, Germany, and France began flooding his inbox with complaints.
"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."
Another app developer, Francisco Castillo of Fugitive Pixel Studios, told TechRadar that his Mexican-market game Guerra por Votos stopped working as soon as the update went out.
"Right now I'm waiting," Castillo wrote. "I'm extremely pissed off."
Castilla said his device's error log blamed Apple's FairPlay DRM for the crashes, and other developers, including Readdle CEO Igor Zhadanov, agree.
"It seems Apple's FairPlay DRM mechanism wasn't applied properly to application packages that are delivered to the user when he or she downloads the update," Zhadanov told TechCrunch.
"After the installation, the application doesn't pass DRM validation and terminates immediately."
LeBlanc told TechRadar that Apple responded to his inquiries with a fairly boilerplate email, and many developers are reporting that Apple has ignored them altogether.
One thing's for sure: the company's signature stoicism certainly isn't doing them any favors in this situation.