Apple releases iOS 9.3.1 to fix Web link crashing bug

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
Just a few days after promising to fix a bug that caused major crashing issues on iPhones and iPads, Apple has delivered and released iOS 9.3.1 to address the lingering issue.




iOS 9.3.1 is now available to download through Software Update or via iTunes. According to Apple, the update fixes an issue that caused apps to be unresponsive after tapping on links in Safari and other apps.

Apple had promised on Tuesday that it will fix the bug, which has caused some confusion since it began cropping up last week. The timing led many to believe the problem was associated with iOS 9.3, but it turned out it was an issue associated with a popular app -- Booking.com --?that produced the bug.

Booking.com and a few of its associated apps used an oversized app and associations file that caused tapping on many links to crash across a variety of apps, including Safari, Mail and Messages. Uninstalling the affected apps did not fix the issue, necessitating the release of iOS 9.3.1.

However, the issue was not tied to just iOS 9.3, as users reported experiencing the same crashing bug with Booking.com installed on older releases dating back to iOS 9.0.2. It was just a coincidence that the Booking.com app update caused the crashing around the same time iOS 9.3 was released.

iOS 9.3 also featured an Activation Lock bug that affected older devices, including the iPad Air and earlier and iPhone 5s and earlier. Apple released a new build of iOS 9.3 to address that issue.

Despite these problems, one app analytics firm found this week that iOS 9.3 was actually Apple's most stable release in years. Apteligent's research found that over its first eight days of public release, iOS 9.3 had a crash rate of just 2.2 percent, making it the most stable iOS release in circulation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    Fixed and working perfectly even mail and text links. Accept for this last minute break of links 9.3 was the most stable beta in the last 3 years. I feel bad that it was working for all of us beta testers up to beta 7 - the last beta then whatever Apple did to the GM broke things. But now it's perfect  
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 2 of 24
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,806member
    Awesome Apple. This is why android should not exist. Some of my friends complaining that their 2 years old LG, Samsung.Sony phones couldn't even get pass Jelly bean update.
    magman1979jbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 3 of 24
    razormaid said:
    Fixed and working perfectly even mail and text links. Accept for this last minute break of links 9.3 was the most stable beta in the last 3 years. I feel bad that it was working for all of us beta testers up to beta 7 - the last beta then whatever Apple did to the GM broke things. But now it's perfect  
    Yeah, it was weird that way. Oddly, for such a small update 9.3.1 seemed to take a while to install; this was on an iPhone 6 so it's not exactly a slow device. 
  • Reply 4 of 24
    How is this update with an iPhone 5s? I generally only do one OS upgrade since in my experience a second upgrade slows down the phone too much. 
  • Reply 5 of 24
    SithFran said:
    How is this update with an iPhone 5s? I generally only do one OS upgrade since in my experience a second upgrade slows down the phone too much. 
    I just installed it on an iPhone 5, and The update Felt like it took ten minutes/ages, but now my links work and i can use this phone again for browsing. 
  • Reply 6 of 24
    kmareikmarei Posts: 75member
    booking dot com
    booking dot crap!
    jbdragonlollivernetmage
  • Reply 7 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,682member

    Despite these problems, one app analytics firm found this week that iOS 9.3 was actually Apple's most stable release in years. Apteligent's research found that over its first eight days of public release, iOS 9.3 had a crash rate of just 2.2 percent, making it the most stable iOS release in circulation.
    This is the perfect example of Internet bias. When this issue was discovered the explosion of vitriol was immediate and vicious. All the QA bloviating, all the “Steve is dead”, “fire Cook”, “Apple QA is going down”, etc. was all we heard. Then an actual measurement showed otherwise. All of this goes to show how negative bias gets amplified way out of proportion. People with problems scream bloody murder. The millions who don’t have problems never say a word.
    ai46jbdragonlolliverfastasleepnetmage
  • Reply 8 of 24
    binkibinki Posts: 1member
    Only 2.2% of people are using Safari / web link apps that caused the crashes.  Still 100% crash with 9.3 that needed fixing.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 262member
    binki said:
    Only 2.2% of people are using Safari / web link apps that caused the crashes.  Still 100% crash with 9.3 that needed fixing.
    I'm not sure where you got the information that 100% with 9.3 needed fixing. That's completely false. Only those on any version of iOS 9.x had a problem because of the booking.com apps. If you had not downloaded one of their apps and upgraded it to the bloated version then you wouldn't have seen the problem. As one of the public beta testers I never experienced the problem with 9.3 because I don't typically use applications like that. Nothing wrong with iOS 9.3 except a bloated app that corrupted a feature and then left it broken even after it was deleted. How did it pass through the app store? It met all the criteria and the evaluaters don't have time to go through every line of code. If that was a requirement, apps would never get approved.
    looplessjbdragonlolliverpscooter63netmage
  • Reply 10 of 24
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    kmarei said:
    booking dot com
    booking dot crap!
    There is no reason to blame them. Their file validated correctly and would work correctly in the iOS simulator (there's no way to test association file updates on real iOS devices). The bug was in iOS, Booking just triggered it reliably enough to find a fix.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    mnbob1 said:
    binki said:
    Only 2.2% of people are using Safari / web link apps that caused the crashes.  Still 100% crash with 9.3 that needed fixing.
    I'm not sure where you got the information that 100% with 9.3 needed fixing. That's completely false. Only those on any version of iOS 9.x had a problem because of the booking.com apps. If you had not downloaded one of their apps and upgraded it to the bloated version then you wouldn't have seen the problem. As one of the public beta testers I never experienced the problem with 9.3 because I don't typically use applications like that. Nothing wrong with iOS 9.3 except a bloated app that corrupted a feature and then left it broken even after it was deleted. How did it pass through the app store? It met all the criteria and the evaluaters don't have time to go through every line of code. If that was a requirement, apps would never get approved.
    See my previous post about why Booking.com is not to blame.

    This bug was also apparently triggered if you had too many apps installed that used the Universal Links feature. But that's extremely difficult to reproduce and file a bug about. Booking.com made it 100% reproducible and thus easy to fix.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 12 of 24
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,382member
    lkrupp said:
    This is the perfect example of Internet bias. When this issue was discovered the explosion of vitriol was immediate and vicious. All the QA bloviating, all the “Steve is dead”, “fire Cook”, “Apple QA is going down”, etc. was all we heard. Then an actual measurement showed otherwise. All of this goes to show how negative bias gets amplified way out of proportion. People with problems scream bloody murder. The millions who don’t have problems never say a word.
    Seriously, the whining... Every time I just think of this:

    Louis CK Everything Is Amazing And Nobody Is Happy


    JanNL
  • Reply 13 of 24
    mariomario Posts: 345member
    Bricked my iPhone 6s Plus. Have to plug iPhone to iTunes and download 2.2 GB update file (which by the way is saying 3 hours to download on a 250 MBit/second internet connection) and do emergency restore from backup. WTF.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 14 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    mario said:
    Bricked my iPhone 6s Plus. Have to plug iPhone to iTunes and download 2.2 GB update file (which by the way is saying 3 hours to download on a 250 MBit/second internet connection) and do emergency restore from backup. WTF.
    A small update "bricked" your phone? BTW, can people stop using bricked if they're actually able to recover their phone. If it is bricked, there is no recovery.
    pscooter63JanNLnetmage
  • Reply 15 of 24
    mariomario Posts: 345member
    foggyhill said:
    mario said:
    Bricked my iPhone 6s Plus. Have to plug iPhone to iTunes and download 2.2 GB update file (which by the way is saying 3 hours to download on a 250 MBit/second internet connection) and do emergency restore from backup. WTF.
    A small update "bricked" your phone? BTW, can people stop using bricked if they're actually able to recover their phone. If it is bricked, there is no recovery.
    Yes, well currently the recovery is going into a loop saying "The iPhone software server could not be contacted. An unknown error occured (1671)." Meanwhile the download of 2.27 GB of iOS 9.3.1 is going on. This is just fucking wonderful. Serves me right for living dangerously and updating something the same day it is released.
  • Reply 16 of 24

    I must say that I've updated my iPhone and iPad Pro without any issues on the day of the Keynote.

    And I'm trying to make it a practice to start reporting any bugs I encounter to Apple. Possibly the most I can do about it.

  • Reply 17 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    mario said:
    foggyhill said:
    A small update "bricked" your phone? BTW, can people stop using bricked if they're actually able to recover their phone. If it is bricked, there is no recovery.
    Yes, well currently the recovery is going into a loop saying "The iPhone software server could not be contacted. An unknown error occured (1671)." Meanwhile the download of 2.27 GB of iOS 9.3.1 is going on. This is just fucking wonderful. Serves me right for living dangerously and updating something the same day it is released.
    Could not be contacted to download a 30MB update that I got in seconds.
    Does your ISP (or router) have an issue.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    mnbob1 said:
    binki said:
    Only 2.2% of people are using Safari / web link apps that caused the crashes.  Still 100% crash with 9.3 that needed fixing.
    I'm not sure where you got the information that 100% with 9.3 needed fixing. That's completely false. Only those on any version of iOS 9.x had a problem because of the booking.com apps. If you had not downloaded one of their apps and upgraded it to the bloated version then you wouldn't have seen the problem. As one of the public beta testers I never experienced the problem with 9.3 because I don't typically use applications like that. Nothing wrong with iOS 9.3 except a bloated app that corrupted a feature and then left it broken even after it was deleted. How did it pass through the app store? It met all the criteria and the evaluaters don't have time to go through every line of code. If that was a requirement, apps would never get approved.
    Sorry, you're completely wrong, there's a definite problem for some devices. I installed 9.3 on iphone5 - no problem, installed on iphone5s - no problem, ipad2 - no problem. My ipad4 retina is however bricked, can't turn it off, can't connect to iTunes, stuck on the apple logo until the battery runs out, so can't install an update via software update, iTunes - it's stuffed. Prior to the upgrade - never had a single issue with Macs or iOS devices for 10 years.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    wood1208 said:
    Awesome Apple. This is why android should not exist. Some of my friends complaining that their 2 years old LG, Samsung.Sony phones couldn't even get pass Jelly bean update.
    You make it sound as if Apple did well. I can tell you, this bug turned many people's phone into a mess for more than a week. A serious bug such as this one should never have occurred in the first place and should have been caught during one of the many betas.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    dacloo said:
    wood1208 said:
    Awesome Apple. This is why android should not exist. Some of my friends complaining that their 2 years old LG, Samsung.Sony phones couldn't even get pass Jelly bean update.
    You make it sound as if Apple did well. I can tell you, this bug turned many people's phone into a mess for more than a week. A serious bug such as this one should never have occurred in the first place and should have been caught during one of the many betas.
    As has been repeatedly stated (and is even stated in the article!), the bug existed since iOS 9.0. It is not new to iOS 9.3.
    edited April 2016
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