A glitch with the servers of the Apple App store last week caused binaries of apps to be corrupted. This resulted in users updating apps and finding that essentially, their apps do not work anymore. Fortunately, this has been fixed by Apple.
The issue was revealed by Instapaper creator and developer Marco Ament. In a post on his blog last Independence Day, Ament revealed that after the Instapaper 4.2.3 update was made available on the App Store and users downloaded it, he was swamped by “support email and Twitter messages from customers saying that it crashed immediately on launch, even with a clean install.”
“Lots of anxiety and research led me to the problem: a seemingly corrupt update being distributed by the App Store in many or possibly all regions,” he said.
Furthermore, he found that other apps were also experiencing the glitch meaning it was not an issue particular to Instapaper. In fact, he created a list of apps which were affected with the issue and found that Angry Birds Space Free and Angry Birds Space HD Free and other apps were affected by the issue. He listed more than 100 apps when he decided to stop making the list as it was still growing.
According to the developer, the characteristics of the issue were:
* The app crashes immediately on launch, every time, even after a delete and reinstall as long as the corrupt file is being served by the App Store.
* It doesn’t even show the Default.png before crashing. Just a split-second of a partial fade to black, then back to Springboard.
* It may only affect customers in some regions.
* If updating from iTunes, some customers might get a dialog citing error 8324 or 8326.
* Mac apps might show this dialog: “[App] is damaged and can’t be opened. Delete [App] and download it again from the App Store.”
* The console might show: AppleFairplayTextCrypterSession::fairplayOpen() failed, error -42110
In an interview with CNN, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said: “We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded. It affected a small number of users. The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again.”
However, the number and popularity of the apps affected lead us to believe that the issue affected more than “a small number of users.”
Those who have downloaded corrupted updates and apps, you may now download again from the App Store without worries as updates are now being pushed by Apple.
This has not been a good week for Apple’s App Store. It has also recently been revealed that the first malware app on the App Store has been detected but it has already been removed by the Cupertino, California-based iPhone- and iPad-maker.
Did you experience this bug? Tell us about your experience below.