Several app updates approved by Apple’s App Store since July 3 are crashing on launch, leading developers to blame a flaw in the company’s notification service that led to users downloading incorrect or partially-coded versions.
The problem – affecting apps such as Instapaper, GoodReader and Angry Birds Space HD Free – does not seem to have affected the Australian App Store, however.
Instapaper creator Marco Arment first highlighted the problem, blogging that “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.
“This didn’t make sense — 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.”
AppleInsider reported Goodreader developer Good.iWare as saying that “notifications of a new update might have gone out for its app before Apple’s internal encryption had finished. As such, customers may have received ‘incorrectly (or partially?) encrypted binaries’ that would not be recognized as valid by iOS.
“The publisher,” the site reported, “directed users experiencing the problem to either delete and reinstall the application or to follow a lengthy process that would re-download the app without deleting files and settings.”
Arment has warned developers who have non-critical updates pending release, to wait a few days “for this to presumably get sorted out before releasing” them.
“Because if this happens to you, all of your most active users, the people who will install updates within hours of them becoming available, will be stopped in their tracks. They’ll think you’re careless, incompetent, and sloppy for issuing a release that doesn’t work. And they’ll leave you a lot of angry 1-star reviews.”
Arment is busy compiling a list of affected apps on his blog.