Apple App Store in Trouble…

Over the past 48 hours or so, if you’ve downloaded an update for your apps it may appear as though that particular program is playing up. In fact, there are 70 apps apparently affected by the issue now. Rest assured, it is not the developer’s fault.

It appears to be the Apple App Store itself that’s causing the problem, pushing out dodgy binary. Instapaper is perhaps the most well known program to be affected by the virus. Instapaper developer, Marco Arment, states the following:

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?

App makers responsible for the GoodReader app have also noticed the issue, and seem to have more to offer on the subject. The app’s designers state that they’ve had the same issue with both of its most recent updates, leaving them with many discontented consumers.

“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.”

So, if you’ve experienced instantly crashing apps, or you get an error code when trying to download apps, let us know below. Which apps aren’t working for you?

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