05 JUL

Heads Up: Corrupt App Store Downloads Causing Apps to Crash on Launch [UPDATED]

by Marianne Schultz
 

Instapaper developer Marco Arment pointed out yesterday that there’s been something amiss with some app updates downloaded from the iOS and Mac App Stores for the last couple of days and the problem still persists. According to Arment, app binaries (the bundle of files that make up an app that developers submit to Apple for distribution) are somehow being corrupted on Apple’s end and when users go to open these apps, they will crash on launch and will not open.

Here’s a list of issues directly from Arment’s post that users might experience:

  • The app crashes immediately on launch, every time, even after a delete and reinstall as long as the corrupt file is being served by the App Store.
  • It doesn’t even show the Default.png before crashing. Just a split-second of a partial fade to black, then back to Springboard.
  • It may only affect customers in some regions.
  • If updating from iTunes, some customers might get a dialog citing error 8324 or 8326.
  • Mac apps might show this dialog:“[App] is damaged and can’t be opened. Delete [App] and download it again from the App Store.”
  • The console might show: AppleFairplayTextCrypterSession::fairplayOpen() failed, error -42110

Arment notes that this problem seems to be occurring primarily for app updates and not new apps just released to the App Store, and this may only be affecting users in certain areas. He’s compiled a list of apps affected, which contains more than 70 apps at the time of this post including some prominent ones like his own Instapaper and even Angry Birds Space Free.

If you downloaded an app update recently and are experiencing some of the issues Arment describes, please keep this issue in mind and refrain from writing a negative app review based solely on this experience. From what can be told so far, this is not the fault of any of the developers and I urge you to not take it out on them with a negative review. So far, Apple has not publicly responded to these reports though the company appears to be addressing the problem on an app-by-app basis when alerted. If you’re an app developer, you may wish to heed Arment’s warning to avoid releasing an update for your app until this has been resolved.

UPDATE: Apple told AllThingsD yesterday that this issue has been fixed, saying in a statement to the publication, “We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded.” To remedy any affected apps, users are encouraged to simply re-download the app from the App Store.

13 Comments

  1. ChrisP

    High time that Apple responds. Problem is still present. And growing.

  2. L

    @Chris,
    Sorry, to hear there are many problems…. I own 850 apps installed on my iPod 4th Gen. 64 GB and less than 1% that crashed/launch problem on my iPod. App Developers did a great job. That’s all I have to say.

  3. M005E

    So how do we get to see the list he compiled. No Link in Posting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  4. Marianne Schultz

    @M005E,

    The link to Arment’s blog where the app list is available is in the very first sentence of this post. There, “pointed out” is clickable and brings you to this page: http://www.marco.org/2012/07/04/app-store-corrupt-binaries

  5. L

    THERE YOU GOES…. HOPEFULLY, THEY WILL LOOK INTO IT AND FIX IT ASAP.

    Apple working on a fix for App Store snafu
    Following reports of application updates crashing, Apple has a team looking into the problem.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57467171-263/apple-working-on-a-fix-for-app-store-snafu/?tag=mncol;txt

  6. bob

    Love it…
    Now maybe Apple will adress the inApps scam… eg SmurVillage for your kids has $99 inApps.. etc..
    Please dont reply saying it’s the parent’s responsibilty ..we know that.. but why is this allowed..could it be the 30% take on ripping children off…
    It doesn’t matter to me anymore …got rid of my last Apple product today.. never again with Big Brother

    good riddance APPLE

  7. Crow

    @Bob Apple big Brother I don’t think so maybe just great marketing . I just got rid of my Asus Zen Ultrabook and Samsung Galaxy 11S for Mac air and iPhone 4s . I agree good riddance ( with subpar technology ) and hello to cutting edge. for every person abandoning Apple there is 10 others ditching our current platforms and adopting Apple . PS I can see what all the hype is about even after a few weeks . Apple for life now !

  8. Rory

    @Crow – well said! @bob – what planet are you on?! Looks like another case of the Android fanboy illness…

  9. Daniel

    Reponse to Bob:
    Just turn off inapp purchase and you don’t have to worry about your kids accidentally doing inapp purchase.

  10. Rob

    Apple is lying as usual. I have been working with the Dev on Imagescal app that will not open and it still does not work, as apple has not fixed the problem. I have emails the Dev sent with responses from apple that they are still working on it, so how can they say it is fixed. They are really slipping in many areas, Steve would never have put up with this type of failure!

  11. menotu

    Love how the iSheep justify corruption…
    end of all my comments..
    Sold the last of my magical apple products today..
    time will sort this all out tho..

  12. Bastion

    Hmm, methinks there is a similarity in the posts from “bob” and “menotu”…

    Not just in content, but in style. I think they are the same “person”, I mean “Troll”.

  13. John

    Wow, fanboy much? Just because people have a different opinion doesn’t make them a troll. In case you don’t understand the term, a troll is someone whose only purpose it’s to try to annoy/anger people, not someone whose opinion is different from yours – even if that happens to annoy/anger you.

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