Corrupt App Store updates said to be causing some iOS apps to crash upon launch [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: July 5, 2012

iPhone 4S

iOS users, take note. It appears that some corrupt App Store binaries may be leading to issues with some newly-installed or updated apps, which can end up simply crashing upon launch even though the app was submitted to Apple in perfect working order. Instapaper developer Marco Arment explains that after a recent update to his app went live in the App Store, many users reported that the app crashed when opened, even though the update had been working fine in testing. Functional versions of the app began going out hours later, and Arment says that the only way to fix an affected app is to wait for a good version to be posted by the App Store, then delete the non-working app and reinstall a new copy. Instapaper isn't the only app being affected by this issue, as GoodReader, Angry Birds Space HD Free and many other apps are said to be exhibiting the same behavior.

So just what's going on? While Apple has yet to officially comment on the issue, both Arment and the developers of GoodReader suggest that a problem with the App Store could be causing it to push out corrupt binaries to users. That's definitely a bit of an issue, especially considering that some folks might assume that the issue is with the developer and end up leaving poor reviews or ditching the app altogether. Because the problem seems to be correcting itself after a few hours of an update being published to the App Store, it's probably a good idea to hold off on installing any updates for a little while, no matter how hard it may be to resist that big red badge on your App Store icon. Here's to hoping that Apple can get the issue ironed out soon.

UPDATE: Arment's list of apps that've been affected by this bug has grow to 83. Apple still hasn't issued a comment on the situation, but as Ars Technica explains, the issue may be related to  an error with an app's FairPlay DRM.

UPDATE 2: According to sources speaking to TechCrunch that are Apple developers, the Cupertino firm has responded to this corrupted app issue in its official Developer Forums under the user name iTunesConnect. The company's statement:

"We are aware of the issue related to apps crashing after update. We are currently working on resolving the issue. Stay tuned for updates.”

An Apple support representative also spoke with one developer over the phone and said that the Apple has a team dedicated that's working on the problem.

UPDATE 3: Apple has commented on the issue in a statement sent to The Loop, explaining that the problem stemmed from a server tasked with generating DRM code for some apps. The Cupertino firm says that it's fixed the problem and that it doesn't expect it to happen again. Any users with an app affected by the bug should re-download a copy from the App Store. Apple's full statement on the matter is as follows:

“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. Users who experienced an issue launching an app caused by this server bug can delete the affected app and re-download it.”

Via The Verge,, GoodReader, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, The Loop