back to article 'Apple is corrupting App Store downloads', warn angry devs

Apple's App Store is apparently damaging the contents of applications as they're downloading, leaving developers flooded with complaints about errors they can't fix. The file corruption problem seems to have started yesterday. Instapaper's Marco Arment was one of the first devs hit: he uploaded a new version of Instapaper to the …

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From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

........to be very strange that their usual response when something has gone wrong is silence. Not exactly straight out of the customer care handbook, is it? Oh and by the way, this page loaded unbelievably slowly and then I saw that you were advertising McAfee. Can their adverts really have the same treacle effect as the software itself? -:P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

Just in case you missed it yesterday was Independence Day, a well known and popular US holiday. It could explain why Apple didn't make a statement.

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FAIL

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

To be fair to the rest of the world (there is one outside of the US), we shouldn't be inconvenienced by US staff being on holiday. They could always outsource their support to India.

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WTF?

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

Since when do outsourced support teams issue company statements?

If you wrote to iTunes support to complain you'd probably get an answer.

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Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

They are most likely already beavering away in the background to sort the problem, but it will be cold day in hell for Apple to ever publicly acknowledge there is any problem until the whole issue has blown up in their faces at which point they then manage to find some way to blame others anyway. That is how their marketing machine works: to maintain their mythical image of excellence and reliability they will never ever show any kind of weakness in-case the punters come to realise their kit isn't actually any better than the competition.

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Joke

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

Lol... That would spawn a Declaration of Ind dependance. That would spur the BoD to engage in a declaration of in deep end dance on some execs, hehehe...

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Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

@dubno

"US staff being on holiday"

It's not just Apple. Yesterday I was getting appalling download speeds when attempting to download Wordpress and despite several attempts didn't get a full copy.

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Coat

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

I don't see a problem with a simple statement: "You are downloading it wrong!"

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Devil

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

"Just in case you missed it yesterday was Independence Day, a well known and popular US holiday. It could explain why Apple didn't make a statement."

Or more likely they're still drafting a patent for this new feature of the software update service.

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Coat

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

LOL at the number of downvotes I got just for saying it was a US holiday and Apple developer relations were out enjoying their 4th of July holiday (lest we have reports that Apple were abusing their staff).

Just to be clear I'm not excusing Apple. I think they should contact the affected users who downloaded the corrupt packages and let them know what happened, maybe even offer some store credit as an apology. But give them time to do this.

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Trollface

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

@ Metavisor Just in case you missed it yesterday was Independence Day

Since when did the rest of the world adopt 'merkin holidays? Or is it just fanbois that think because the fruity ones take a day off we all should take a day off?

Did anyone spot the oxymoron I used?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

Dear Field Marshal Von Krakenfart,

I have this crazy idea that we live in an internationalized world and we have to adjust a bit to each other's holidays and customs. For example I deal a lot with China and when they have holidays, man they take them seriously, so I calmly wait for their replies.

So to me it's a not a foreign concept that Apple HQ wasn't available for a statement yesterday. They had engineers on the case, which is what really matters anyway.

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Coat

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

"fanbois" and "think"....

I see what you did there...

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Go

Re: From a company who are regarded (with some justice) as master marketeers it seems to me....

Apple already contacted the developers with a statement and phone number to call back for support, so all of you who were concerned with the silence can now rest a little easier.

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Unhappy

Most likely a unique iCloud feature ...

making sure downloads are kiddie safe, by disabling them.

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Big Brother

Bet365

I wonder if Bet365 would take any money on it being a DRM problem - presumably the encryption sweetie wrapper has broken. Wonder if the unlockers are looking for exploitable vectors?

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This post has been deleted by its author

El Reg should just have UAERRTR to all Apple articles

Usual Apple El Reg Response to Request

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Joke

One bad apple

One bad apple ruins the whole barrel.

(single point of weakness/Achilles heel, etc)

[no icon for pun]

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Trollface

Not just Apple having trouble with signing apps lately,

Symbian Signed had a four working day outage...

...but I was the only guy left to notice.

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing to see here folks

We all KNOW Apple never makes mistakes.

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Anonymous Coward

Delta updates?

I wonder if this could be a bug in the delta update feature rolled out in iOS 5. It downloads and installs only the changes made by an update (in theory) in order to download less. If the algorithm is faulty, it could wreak havoc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Delta updates?

Delta updates so far are only for the main OS, not apps.

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Re: Delta updates?

> It downloads and installs only the changes made by an update

I wish it did, but no, each app update still downloads the whole thing.

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Re: Delta updates?

Actually, there are incremental app updates, only not in 5.0 but in 4.1 and not in iOS but in Android.

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Re: Delta updates?

Delta updates are absolutely impossible for any client code coming from apple store. It's a big bundle w/o any modules.

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Holmes

Ok, a radical option...

If the application fails when it starts, it means not all the bits have been downloaded - but the initial application is actually running. So why can't the developers add some code that checksums all the required content at start, then plop a message up saying it's apples fault? (Obviously if the initial app is screwed this won't work - but then you'd get an O/S message anyway).

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Paris Hilton

Re: Ok, a radical option...

And obviously, the initial 'downloading' package code should reflect that it doesn't have all the bits anyway - which is the O/S's responsibility. So is it a fundamental problem in the 'getting stuff' code in the O/S which is the problem? Just confused now. (It's hot and sticky).

Paris obviously.

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Re: Ok, a radical option...

Apple screws with the app on purpose. They have to add the DRM crap to make sure it will only run for one user. If their DRM system is broken the apps will be broken and nothing the developer can do to fix it from their end.

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Meh

Re: Ok, a radical option...

Cheers, me just being thick. (and generally honest).

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Facepalm

Re: Ok, a radical option...

Because they shouldn't have to

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Windows

Re: Ok, a radical option...

"If the application fails when it starts, it means not all the bits have been downloaded "

Evidence please or you just made that up. You have absolutely no idea what could cause Apples distibution chain to fail. Unless of course you work for them.

I think you got the wonrg icon <-

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Re: Ok, a radical option...

If I hear "Because they shouldn't have to", or "Because I shouldn't have to" in relation to API's, services and applications one more time, I think my head will go into Scanner's mode. It's nice if things actually work as published, (or conforms to how the documentation says it should work), but in real life, you'd be somewhat negligent in basing your code on those assumptions, unless you are lazy, don't really care, or are hyper optimistic. However I do like debugging other peoples stuff. It's easy money, and doesn't involve responsibility. Funny old world.

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Anonymous Coward

Good Ol' Apple

Give us 30% of your takings and we'll make you look bad, but we won't tell you why or give you any helpful info you could pass onto your customers.

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Meh

Re: Good Ol' Apple

But don't you dare say anything uncomplimentary about us in return. We'll fuck you up.

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Pint

At least the pay their developers on time

Unlike some other companies..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least the pay their developers on time

Why do you always do that? This has nothing to do with Google, everybody has already said what they wanted to on that forum but somehow an Apple fuck up means someone else has to get dragged in. Every single time you or Metavisor or one of the other blinkered Apple fans always has to respond to legitimate criticism about your beloved company with 'But M$ do this' or 'Google do that' or 'Why is it always Apple that are picked on?'

This is down to Apple, no one else. It doesn't matter what problems other companies have had or have caused as this issue has nothing to do with it. It's like a religious fanatic who when presented with evidence that goes against their belief either try to ignore it, claim it isn't true or warp it to somehow fit into the belief structure.

Apple are not perfect - get over it and stop crying like a baby whenever somebody manages to poke a hole through the shiny and shows you just how rotten that Apple is inside.

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Flame

Re: At least the pay their developers on time

How wrong you are Mr Coward, I work on apps for both iOS and Android.

Posts like yours are completely unwarranted flamebait. If you or "g e" developed for iOS you'd know that Apple gives plenty of information to developers. I'm sure we'll know more about this problem later today and Apple will be in touch when they confirm what happened.

From the look of it, it was a DRM signing issue and seems to be fixed already. If this was Google everyone would be fine with it, but no it's Apple so apparently for some people it needs the extra drama, the 30% nonsense (which everyone charges anyway) - the usual rubbish.

It's clear from his posts that at least G E hates Apple and doesn't own any iOS devices so, why is he even concerned about this enough to post here is beyond me.

If you post flamebait material and then get sad when someone takes you up on it I suggest you grow up.

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Re: Good Ol' Apple

"Give us 30% of your takings and we'll make you look bad..."

How old are you? Six?

Because, of course, glitches like these never, ever, happen to anyone else, and, obviously, making their developers "look bad" is entirely in Apple's best interests. There's nothing Apple's customers love more than a lousy user experience and shitty apps that don't run, right?

Even Amazon and Google have had data centre problems, and they've been running huge international networks of gargantuan data centres for years. Apple's track record in this field has been rather less than stellar, as anyone who had the misfortune to use their "MobileMe" service when it launched will attest.

Also, Apple have a long-standing policy of not returning El Reg's calls, so their lack of a direct statement is hardly a big surprise. It's become an El Reg running gag over the years, because Apple never tell them a damned thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Ol' Apple

And here's another of the familiar Apple apologists. No one claimed other companies don't fuck up (although no-one else has the permanent standing army ready to jump in at the 1st sign of criticism about the company) and in this case it isn't the fuck-up that's the problem. It was a legitimate statement and yes Apple have done wrong.

The problem here is Apple take their 30% with assurances to the developers that in doing so they make their lives easier. What has happened here is a fault has occured and Apple have remained silent as usual. Even if they don't know what has caused it the very least they should have done is issue a statement about the problem and promise to keep people up to date. What was wrong with suspending downloads and informing users that there is a problem which they will rectify as soon as possible? What was wrong with warning developers that they may get a larger volume of support calls and emails than usual? What is wrong with admitting a mistake? It happens and if you are honest about it people are a lot more forgiving.

The wall of silence, not just to El Reg but to everybody whenever there is a problem is appalling. This is from a company who makes a big song and dance about how great their customer service is. Behaviour like this is about as far from good customer service as you can get. The situation now is that users don't know there is a problem, don't know it's Apples fault, developers didn't know there was a problem until the users start complaining at them costing them money dealing with an unexpected increase in support and with no word from Apple they don't know what to tell them.

But why should Apple say anything when they have people like you who will do all their apologising for them?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Ol' Apple

AC don't you really get it? No one is apologising for Apple. I was criticising the snarky, unwarranted, content and tone of your - or whatever other AC's - comment.

As for the problem, in Marco's case it was fixed in 2 hours after he reported it. Marco is very well known in the dev community, I'm sure by now most developers will know there's been a problem. Yes, it would be good if Apple gets in touch with all affected developers quickly, but:

1) They have to figure out who was affected, what the problem was and how they propose to solve it

2) As always there's going to be legal proceedings against Apple over this, so whatever they say has to go through their legal dept first

So give them time. Just like everyone else - Amazon, Google, etc - gets time to make statements when they're at fault.

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Re: At least the pay their developers on time

Amen!

That's how fanboys are... Of any company. I think it's the inability to hold two opposite thoughts in their heads at the same time (Apple - nice design, good; overpriced - bad. Google - Android Alternative to iOS, good, privacy policies and lack of phone support, bad, etc., etc.)

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Code Signing?

I assume Apple keep their garden walled by signing code/apps, so perhaps there's a dodgy signing cert somewhere?

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Anonymous Coward

Having a distribution monopoly...

...means never having to say you are sorry. Seriously, where are all these devs going to go instead? Android? Hah! It'll be a transient issue, the devs affected by it will suck it up, as they have always had to do, and business will continue as usual in due course.

What's in it for Apple to be any more reasonable or communicative?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having a distribution monopoly...

Most of us develop for both Android and Apple platforms, but Apple is where the money is to be made. Android users tend not to want to buy stuff, and expect it to be free, looking at my stats anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having a distribution monopoly...

Maybe what you have developed isn't worth paying for? Or not worth paying what you are asking anyway. Or maybe you are one of those shitty developers who want paying for the app but then go and stick adverts in as well.

Your app is only worth what people are willing to pay for it, not what you think it should sell at so if you aren't selling enough try reducing the price.

Some of the top selling items on Google play at the minute:

Cut the rope £0.62 (over 1m sales)

Swiftkey Keyboard £2.99 (over 1m sales)

Officesuite Pro 6 £9.60 (over 100,000 sales)

PowerAmp £3.25 (over 500,000 sales)

As you can see, there is a massive difference in pricing but all the above are selling well. People for the most part are willing to pay if they think it is value for money. You need to convince them it is, not blame the platform.

On the other hand itunes users seem to be dumb enough to be happy to pay £0.99 for a fart app so maybe it isn't all that hard to get them to part with money for stuff that sensible people look at and decide it really isn't worth paying for.

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Facepalm

Re: Having a distribution monopoly...

Cut the Rope made 1 million sales in only 10 days on iOS.

But Android looks good for customised keyboard developers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having a distribution monopoly...

Your point being? 1m sales is still 1m sales doesn't matter if it takes 3, 10, or 30 days

The point that was being made was that people are willing to pay for content on Android and was a response to the claim the Android users want everything for free, not how quickly something sells. People just have to feel it is worth their money and the point still stands. As noted above, itunes users seem to spend cash on the most trivial shit so probably you will make more money. It just means you have to try harder to get those on Android who have a little more sense about how they spend their cash so the answer is to make your app better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having a distribution monopoly...

The ACs are really out in force here... Let me make it simple for you:

Cut the Rope made 1 million sales on iOS in 10 days after launch - obviously it didn't stop there.

2 months later it was already on 3 million copies, that was Dec 2010. The latest figure is now at 100 million.

You're telling me it got to 1 million on Android so far.... So guess where it made (a lot) more money?

Why do you persistently offend iTunes users? Do you have any proof of what you're saying? Are users who bought a £2.99 keyboard that much better at not buying "trivial shit"?

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