Corrupt App Store Updates Giving Developers, Users Headaches

Apple’s App Store is apparently serving up corrupt versions of apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users, leading to headaches for developers and users.

The problem, according to Instapaper developer Marco Arment, seems to occur after an app update is released through the App Store to customers. The app version developers upload runs properly, but users are left with an app that won’t launch after installing the update.

Apple gives user corrupt iOS app updatesApple gives user corrupt iOS app updates

Since the problem crops up after a know working version of apps are uploaded to Apple’s servers, it looks like Apple may have some server-related issues to address. Within a few hours of app updates going live, however, it looks like the corruption problems get resolved.

“Some customers start to download the update right away. Here’s when the trouble occurs. While in theory Apple’s servers must be ready to distribute the new app binary by the time they start sending update notifications to users’ devices, something goes wrong inside Apple’s distribution servers, and customers receive a damaged binary instead of the good one that we’ve sent to Apple,” said the GoodReader team — another company dealing with corrupt app updates.

For users that install a corrupt app update on their iPhone or iPad, unfortunately, involves deleting the corrupt app. “The only fix for people with bad copies, once good copies are being served again by the App Store, is to delete and reinstall the app,” said Mr. Arment.

He added that many apps have been impacted by the problem such as Readdle, SmartScan+OCR, Angry Birds Space HD Free, and more.

Apple hasn’t commented on the problem, so there isn’t any word on whether or not a fix is coming soon. Users that wait several hours after an app update is released before installing, however, will most likely be able to avoid the corruption issues.