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App Store Pushing Out Corrupted App Downloads

Instapaper developer Marco Arment notes that Apple's App Store is apparently pushing out corrupted app binaries of a number of different applications to users. The issue, which renders the apps unusable, has apparently been triggered on app updates approved over the past few days.
Characterizations of this issue:

- 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 has collected a list of nearly two dozen apps that have been affected by the issue, and while Apple begin distributing a corrected version of Instapaper within a few hours yesterday, it remains unclear whether all affected apps have been fixed. For those who already downloaded corrupted versions of affected apps, the apps must be deleted and reinstalled.

GoodReader has more on the issue, including a description of how to back up settings and restore them upon reinstallation. GoodReader notes that the issue has appeared on both of its last two updates, speculating that something is going wrong with Apple's encryption process temporarily, and after a few hours the issue resolves itself.
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. The exact reason is up to Apple to determine, but it looks like some binary encryption that happens internally in the App Store is only halfway-done at this point, and customers receive incorrectly (or partially?) encrypted binaries to their iPads. Those binaries do not get recognized by iOS as valid App Store executable binaries, and iOS simply refuses to launch them.

A few hours pass by, things settle down on Apple's servers, the update finally gets to places inside Apple's servers to which it was supposed to get, and everyone who downloads the update from that moment on, receives a correctly encrypted fully functional app binary.
Apple has yet to issue an official statement on the issue, and thus details remain unconfirmed for the time being, but developers are suggesting that users wait a few hours after receiving notifications about updated apps before updating their devices.

Update: Arment's list of apps confirmed to be affected by the issue has now grown to 70.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

27 months ago

Interesting issue
Hope it gets resolved soon
Until we hear more, I might just hold off updating
I usually check for updates every day


Is this a poem?
Rating: 13 Votes
27 months ago

Interesting issue
Hope it gets resolved soon
Until we hear more, I might just hold off updating
I usually check for updates every day


I actually thought
for a moment when I read the article
that they are pulling
corrupted apps from
the
app store
Rating: 8 Votes
27 months ago
This is why i wouldn't chose the option of automated updates if it was implemented. I would want to update apps manually, just in case they are screwed.
Rating: 7 Votes
27 months ago
Interesting issue
Hope it gets resolved soon
Until we hear more, I might just hold off updating
I usually check for updates every day
Rating: 7 Votes
27 months ago
Nothing like paying Apple 30% and taking the customer abuse and suffering the time-sink for workarounds for problems over which I have no control. Has Apple even bothered to send out a notice to developers regarding this problem?

I had customers affected by this issue due to a recent update. I was baffled as to the cause and had little advice to offer other than delete the app and start over.
Rating: 6 Votes
27 months ago

I know it's only a few incidents after four years, but this sort of puts a dent in Apple's much touted controlled walled-garden approach.


During a US holiday when traffic on the servers goes up, and Apples system was giving warnings that some downloads might have issues.

I've had about 15 apps update in the last day or so, four from Marcos list. One had a warning and 20 minutes later I tried agin with no issues.

Frankly Marco is coming off like an attention seeker more than anything else with his repeated hyperbole over things in the store. Guy needs a tin hat if he really thinks that Apple is trying to ruin apps by breaking the binaries so the poor developers have to deal with the fallout
Rating: 5 Votes
27 months ago
This thread must also be corrupted with all the negative votes, seriously, some sound comments are getting voted down all for what :rolleyes:

Problems happen and it's always a good idea to know about issues just incase something happens with your product from software, geez…
Rating: 5 Votes
27 months ago

Frankly Marco is coming off like an attention seeker more than anything else with his repeated hyperbole over things in the store. Guy needs a tin hat if he really thinks that Apple is trying to ruin apps by breaking the binaries so the poor developers have to deal with the fallout

I don't read this as attention seeking. Something is corrupting all these apps to the point that they become unusable, and it's affecting a lot of them. I'm glad someone is letting me know so I can avoid updates in the interim.
Rating: 5 Votes
27 months ago

Would this affect OS updates too if the OS was purchased through the App Store?:confused:


Oh dear... that would be bad. VERY VERY BAD. :(

I'm sure apple will resolve this issue pretty quickly. Most likely they have a small team on it already - The App store is VERY central to their user experience, so I'm sure they are taking all the necessary actions to fix this.

----------

Is this a poem?


It looks like poetry to me,
but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
It's possible that splendid poet will respond,
but until then, all our conjectures will be unsound.

:cool:
Rating: 5 Votes
27 months ago

During a US holiday when traffic on the servers goes up, and Apples system was giving warnings that some downloads might have issues.

I've had about 15 apps update in the last day or so, four from Marcos list. One had a warning and 20 minutes later I tried agin with no issues.

Frankly Marco is coming off like an attention seeker more than anything else with his repeated hyperbole over things in the store. Guy needs a tin hat if he really thinks that Apple is trying to ruin apps by breaking the binaries so the poor developers have to deal with the fallout


He is not implying that Apple is breaking things on purpose. He is just pointing out an issue with Apple's automated system so that Apple can take notice and fix it.

This is a big deal for developers as Apple has changed their search ranking algorithm to focus more on star ratings, which means 1 star reviews because of an App Store issue can cost people their primary income.
Rating: 4 Votes

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