Developers suspect App Store mix-up led to corrupt binaries

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
After some new app updates in the App Store and Mac App Store began mysteriously crashing on launch for a portion of users, a few developers have come to the conclusion that Apple accidentally seeded corrupt binaries of their apps.

"Instapaper" creator Marco Arment noted on his blog on Wednesday that he was "deluged by support email and Twitter messages" from users who were unable to open the app after his most-recent update, version 4.2.3, went live in the App Store.

"This didn?t make sense — obviously, Apple had reviewed it, and it worked for them," Arment wrote. "My submitted archive from Xcode worked perfectly. But every time I downloaded the update from the App Store, clean or not, it crashed instantly."

According to the developer, "lots of anxiety and research" helped him discover that the problem was "a seemingly corrupt update being distributed by the App Store in some regions." The U.S. and U.K. were hit with the unusable file, while Australia appeared to remain unscathed.

Instapaper


Affected applications were said to crash immediately on launch without even showing the "Default.png" file. Some App Store users reported seeing error numbers of 8324 and 8326 in iTunes, while Mac users received notifications that the application was "damaged and can't be opened."

In the case of "Instapaper," the corrupt version was available for two hours before the App Store began distributing the correct version of the app. The only known fix for sers who downloaded the app during the two hour window is to simply delete then reinstall the app.

In his post, Arment called the issue a "serious problem" and implored Apple to fix it.

The incident was not, however, isolated to just "Instapaper." Arment compiled a list of apps that had been updated on July 3 or July 4 that he'd heard reports of crashing. More than a dozen applications have reportedly suffered from the problem, including "GoodReader," "Pair" and "Angry Birds Space HD Free."

Meanwhile, the developer behind "GoodReader" speculated on its website that notifications of a new update might have gone out for its app before Apple's internal encryption had finished. As such, customers may have received "incorrectly (or partially?) encrypted binaries" that would not be recognized as valid by iOS. The publisher directed users experiencing the problem to either delete and reinstall the application or to follow a lengthy process that would redownload the app without deleting files and settings.

After expanding into 32 new countries last month, Apple's iOS application store is now available in 155 countries. As of early June, there were more than 650,000 applications in the store.

Apple is believed to have made some minor under-the-hood changes to the search algorithm in the App Store search algorithm. Late last month, some developers reported (1, 2) that their search rankings had changed drastically because of apparent changes to the algorithm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    I have not seen this issue, however I am getting a hell of a lot of spam with this in the body "Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android".

    Methinks a spambot army be running on android handsets.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    mrrmrr Posts: 63member


    Hmmn. Maybe this explains the, "There were problems downloading some purchased items. This was a problem with "app name". An unknown error occurred (8324). Use the Check for Available Downloads command in the Store menu to download again later." that I have been getting for the last hour.

  • Reply 3 of 26
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mrr View Post


    Hmmn. Maybe this explains the, "There were problems downloading some purchased items. This was a problem with "app name". An unknown error occurred (8324). Use the Check for Available Downloads command in the Store menu to download again later." that I have been getting for the last hour.



     


    which sounds like the binaries are actually fine but there was a issue due to traffic or such. And the system told users that there was a potential issue so folks shouldn't have been shocked by the crashes. 

  • Reply 4 of 26
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 610member
    I downloaded the Instapaper update several hours ago direct on my iPhone - no problems.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Please don't tell me that this technology thing that we've created occasionally has glitches from time to time!

    We should shut it all down and go back to our pointy sticks and fire-lit caves (although watch out for that 'fire' thing we used to use. I hear it also goes out from time to time...)
  • Reply 6 of 26
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member


    Instapaper... what a crappy and useless app. Nothing of value was lost.

  • Reply 7 of 26
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    perhaps it's just dog's way of telling you that you shouldn't be distributing your app ...
  • Reply 8 of 26
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 364member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighype View Post


    Instapaper... what a crappy and useless app. Nothing of value was lost.





    Nothing of value was gained by your post.

  • Reply 9 of 26

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Please don't tell me that this technology thing that we've created occasionally has glitches from time to time!

    We should shut it all down and go back to our pointy sticks and fire-lit caves (although watch out for that 'fire' thing we used to use. I hear it also goes out from time to time...)


    Cool straw man, bro.

  • Reply 10 of 26
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member


    The App Store is messed up right now.


     




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mrr View Post


    Hmmn. Maybe this explains the, "There were problems downloading some purchased items. This was a problem with "app name". An unknown error occurred (8324). Use the Check for Available Downloads command in the Store menu to download again later." that I have been getting for the last hour.


     




     


    Two apps showed up in iTunes as awaiting updates, but when I tried to download them, iTunes threw an error message, probably the same one. One happened to be the Yahoo Search app, so it's not just happening to little developers.


     


    I think I'll sit out a day or two and look for confirmation that these issues have been cleared up before I try to download any more apps from the App Store.

  • Reply 11 of 26


    I may have actually have caused this bug. On July 3rd I released updates to five of my apps. Three of the apps are almost 2GB in size and the total size is close to 7GB. It is possible that this bogged down Apple's app release servers enough to cause this problem. My apps are Scenic Map Western USA, Scenic Map Central USA, Scenic Map Eastern USA, Scenic Map Alaska and Scenic Map Grand Canyon. I manually released all of them within seconds of each other. I noticed that they seemed to pop up on the App Store rather quickly and one user has reported a problem with the app he downloaded. Call me paranoid but there may be a connection.

     

  • Reply 12 of 26
    sean0213sean0213 Posts: 1member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post


    I may have actually have caused this bug. On July 3rd I released updates to five of my apps. Three of the apps are almost 2GB in size and the total size is close to 7GB. It is possible that this bogged down Apple's app release servers enough to cause this problem. My apps are Scenic Map Western USA, Scenic Map Central USA, Scenic Map Eastern USA, Scenic Map Alaska and Scenic Map Grand Canyon. I manually released all of them within seconds of each other. I noticed that they seemed to pop up on the App Store rather quickly and one user has reported a problem with the app he downloaded. Call me paranoid but there may be a connection.

     



    Please Please Please tell me your not being serious...

  • Reply 13 of 26
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post


    I may have actually have caused this bug. On July 3rd I released updates to five of my apps. Three of the apps are almost 2GB in size and the total size is close to 7GB. It is possible that this bogged down Apple's app release servers enough to cause this problem. My apps are Scenic Map Western USA, Scenic Map Central USA, Scenic Map Eastern USA, Scenic Map Alaska and Scenic Map Grand Canyon. I manually released all of them within seconds of each other. I noticed that they seemed to pop up on the App Store rather quickly and one user has reported a problem with the app he downloaded. Call me paranoid but there may be a connection.

     

     

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  • Reply 14 of 26
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    gtr wrote: »
    Please don't tell me that this technology thing that we've created occasionally has glitches from time to time!
    We should shut it all down and go back to our pointy sticks and fire-lit caves (although watch out for that 'fire' thing we used to use. I hear it also goes out from time to time...)

    Is that supposed to be funny, or original?
    Errors happen, no need to go into hyperbole mode now to defend Apple. No one said that it was such a big deal.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    I don't think it's over - I just got a notification about a Mac app update, it downloaded right to the end but popped up a dialog about an install error. Retried and same thing again. Never had any problems with the App Store before.

  • Reply 16 of 26
    intelintel Posts: 7member


    You can add Dooms Knight and Doomed Heretic to the list. I have contacted Apple about the issue, they point their fingers to the Devs. I have been trying to contact the devs at Moalabs, the only way to contact devs via their wepage is via twitter. They haven't been on twitter since june. Where does this leave me? I for one will no longer be making any purchases from the app store, or itunes store. Everytime there is a problem, Apple places it's head far up into it's arse. It is high time Apple behaves responsibly, and stop with the finger pointing!

  • Reply 17 of 26
    intelintel Posts: 7member


    You can add Dooms Knight and Doomed Heretic to the list. I have contacted Apple about the issue, they point their fingers to the Devs. I have been trying to contact the devs at Moalabs, the only way to contact devs via their wepage is via twitter. They haven't been on twitter since june. Where does this leave me? I for one will no longer be making any purchases from the app store, or itunes store. Everytime there is a problem, Apple places it's head far up into it's buttocks. It is high time Apple behaves responsibly, and stop with the finger pointing!

  • Reply 18 of 26
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member


    Tim Cook has softened up Apple in the last year. But this is an example of how Apple still needs to improve in customer service. Marco is well-known and popular amongst Apple developers, even if his operation is small (1 man). For him to not receive an early response from the Apple AppStore team is not right, or smart, on Apple's part (hopefully this has been addressed).

  • Reply 19 of 26
    intelintel Posts: 7member


    Way to go Apple, they just removed mine and any other negative reviews about this issue. I know for a fact I will no longer be making purchases through Apple, they aren't responsible enough.

  • Reply 20 of 26
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    clemynx wrote: »
    Is that supposed to be funny, or original? What a fanboy.
    Errors happen, no need to go into hyperbole mode now to defend Apple. No one said that it was such a big deal.

    That looked like a sarcastic comment to me, I don't know why you took that comment seriously.

    We're starting to take "fanboy" comments as personal attacks, please stop using it.
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