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Apple fixes App Store bug

If you’ve been having trouble with your downloads from Apple’s App Store this week, you’re not the only one. Apple told The Loop and other outlets Thursday that it has resolved a bug that affected the users of at least 120 apps.

Instapaper developer Marco Arment was the first to publicize the bug, posting Wednesday that the glitch caused a new update of his popular app to shut down as soon as it was opened.

He wrote on his blog that he’d looked into the code to see if the problem was on his end, but couldn’t find any glitches.

“This didn’t make sense — obviously, Apple had reviewed it, and it worked for them,” he 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.”

Arment said his app was fixed within a couple of hours after contacting Apple about the issue; the developers at Good Reader also posted a step-by-step fix to help their users get around the bug. Macworld reported that it appears Apple’s App Store servers were sending users versions of the apps that were either incorrect or incomplete, making them impossible to launch on users’ iPads

In a statement to The Loop, Apple said that it had fixed the issue.

“We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded,” the company told the publication. “The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again.”

The company also said that the issue only affected a “small number” of its users. But since Apple has about 400 million accounts on the App Store, a “small number” doesn’t mean it didn’t hit a significant amount of users on individual apps. Arment said in a later blog post Thursday that over 20,000 of his customers were affected.

MacWorld reported that unnamed sources have said that Apple will remove one-star reviews posted on individual apps in response to the bug — a move that Arment said would help smooth things over with those whose work was hit with the glitch.

“I wouldn’t have predicted that,” he wrote. “If they do, it will go a long way toward repairing their relationship with the affected developers.”

Related stories:

Apple ‘mini iPad’ rumors gain new steam

Ideas@Innovations: How developers’ wish lists are powering Apple’s innovation engine

Developers are key to winning the tech wars

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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