Sometimes in life, the littlest things can be the most exciting. When you’re young and living on your own for the first time, you get a little thrill out of checking your mail and seeing stuff addressed to you, even if it’s junk. When you got your first email address (all the way back in 1997 for me; get off my lawn), getting email was great. Nowadays, checking the App Store on your iPhone and discovering you’ve got updates is nearly always fun (especially when it means new levels for Angry Birds).
Except when it isn’t. Numerous reports have been coming in since yesterday that certain recently-updated apps have been crashing on launch. The earliest report came from Instapaper developer Marco Arment. According to a post on his blog, he was “deluged” with support messages following Apple’s approval of an update to his app. It seems the app would crash immediately after launch. Users tried deleting and reinstalling the app clean, and the same thing happened. Arment began investigating and found that his own archived copy worked just fine. He ultimately concluded that the App Store’s copy of the app had gotten corrupted somehow, and that the corrupted copy of the app was causing the crash. Within a couple hours Apple put up a functional version of the app and the problem was resolved. For users who installed the bad app, though, the only solution is to delete and reinstall it.
Arment is clearly annoyed about the situation in the post. He encourages developers with non-critical updates ready to go to wait a few days:
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.
Because it seems that Instapaper isn’t the only app affected by this problem. The App Store has apparently been releasing corrupted copies of dozens of apps. Arment has compiled a list based on user reports:
That’s 39 apps in all. While Instapaper is working now, it’s not clear whether Apple has gotten the others fixed. If you have any of the apps on the list and have downloaded the most recent updates, you should check to make sure it’s working on your phone. If they’re not working, try deleting and reinstalling. Apple may have gotten them fixed, in which case you should get a functioning app. If you have any of the apps and they work, you might want to wait a few days before downloading any updates, otherwise you risk getting the corrupted version and having to delete and re-install the app.