Apps crashing? Apple's App Store to blame, says developer

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, says that his application works just fine, except when users download an update from the App Store. And he's not alone.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Instapaper is a tool for saving Web pages for later offline reading. Instapaper

Apple's App Store might be causing some trouble for application users.

Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, reported yesterday that he was "deluged" earlier this week by users who had downloaded Instapaper 4.2.3 and found that upon opening it, the application "crashed immediately." The issue even occurred after users removed the application from their devices and reinstalled it with a clean version.

After inspecting the issue, Arment found that the problem was due to what he said was a corrupt update Apple distributed through its App Store. According to Arment, the update he sent over worked just fine, so he quickly complained to Apple about the issue. Within a couple of hours, a new, reliable update was distributed and the problem was addressed.

"I haven't yet received a response from App Review, so I don't know whether the fix was because I made noise, or simply because time passed, which may, for instance, expire a cache with the bad data," Arment wrote in a blog post yesterday. "The only fix for people with bad copies, once good copies are being served again by the App Store, is to delete and reinstall the app."

But Arment wasn't done. He also reported that he had heard of similar issues for other applications that received updates over the last couple of days, including Angry Birds Space HD Free, Pinball Maniacs, and GoodReader.


The folks behind GoodReader also chimed in on the issue on their own site. Upon investigation, the GoodReader team found that "Apple has recently changed something in their app distribution engine, and ever since that change there are ongoing problems at Apple's end. These problems result in a number of customers receiving a damaged binary which doesn't start after updating apps on their devices."

It's not immediately clear how widespread the issue is. Just yesterday, I updated a host of applications on both my iPhone and iPad, and didn't have trouble with any of them. Whether Apple has addressed the problem or those apps simply haven't been affected is unknown at this point.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the developers' claims. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via The Verge)