Instapaper developer Marco Arment has had no end of headaches the past few days over an apparent bug in Apple’s App Store.
It appears that the App Store is pushing out corrupted app binaries for a number of their published apps, which is leaving them unusable and making users unhappy with the wrong people (the developers instead of Apple).
According to Arment, the issue can be described by the following characterizations:
- 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
The good news is that the problem appears to have been fixed and Apple had the proper corrected version of Instapaper online within a few hours, however it is difficult to tell just how many apps were affected and if they have all been repaired. Arment has been keeping a list of confirmed apps that were affected by this issue and it includes over 70 titles.
If you did happen to grab one of the affected apps, you will need to delete them and reinstall –the only saving grace on this is that while it may be a hassle, reinstalling apps is an easy thing to do with iOS.
In their usual style, Apple hasn’t commented publicly on the issue. Developer response has been to suggest to users that for the moment they wait a while (a few hours or maybe even a day) to update the apps on their devices once they receive their notifications.
My question for those of you (us) who have been around a while: does this sound anything like the common advice that users should wait until Microsoft has issued the first major service pack before upgrading to their latest operating system? Apple had better handle this kind of problem carefully if they don’t want that same reputation.