Amazon fixes faulty Kindle app update for iOS

Lex Friedman
28 February, 2013
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Amazon recently released a fix to an update to the Kindle app that logged users out and wiped out their stored books.

All Kindle ebook purchases remained available to users via a re-download from within the app.

“There is a known issue with this update,” Amazon wrote in the app’s current What’s New notes in the App Store overnight. “If you are an existing Kindle for iOS user, we recommend you do not install this update at this time.”

Speaking before the fix was released an Amazon spokesperson told Macworld via email:“We have submitted an update fix for this issue and are working with Apple to release.”

The update had to wait on Apple’s App Store review process to get the fix out to customers. Developers are allowed a finite number of “expedited review” requests, and there’s some suspicion that big companies like Amazon may get more such attention from Apple than typical developers. But any expedited process is at Apple’s discretion.

The issue exposes two flaws in Apple’s handling of the App Store. First, there’s no easy way for developers to “roll back” updates that they discover to be flawed after release. In theory, a single button mechanism for developers to revert to a previously-approved version of an app would help a lot in situations like this. Instead, Amazon had to update its message in the App Store, and hope that customers would see it before they tapped to update.

The second App Store flaw Amazon’s Kindle woes expose is that there’s no option for users to “Skip this version” of an app. Now, users with many app updates to install must remember to stay away from the Update All button, lest they unintentionally grab the Kindle update and wipe out their books. With a Skip option, users could tell the App Store they’d sit out this version of an app, and get nudged again when a new new version of the Kindle app was available.


Lex Friedman (@lexfri). Senior Writer, Macworld

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