Apple Store bug prevented app downloads, updates

Science

27 Apr 2019

Weird Apple Store bug prevented app downloads; now fixed

A weird Apple App Store bug prevented iOS users from downloading and updating their apps on the platform.

The issue existed only for a small subset of Apple customers but was complicated enough to trigger a wave of complaints on Twitter.

Thankfully, the Cupertino giant took note of the matter and promptly issued a fix.

Here are the details.

Issue

Users engaged in App Store loop

Users engaged in App Store loop

While it is rare to see a bug blocking app downloads on the Apple App Store, this time it happened for real.

On April 25, some Apple customers witnessed a 'Terms and conditions' dialog box that required them to tap on an 'Agree' button.

However, tapping on that did nothing and they couldn't proceed forward, ending up being caught in a loop.

Details

Only 'canceling' allowed regular phone usage

As hitting the 'Agree' button had no effect, the users facing the problem had to hit 'Cancel' and close the dialog-box.

This allowed them to continue using their phone but blocked their ability to either download a new app or update an existing one.

Notably, there was not even a work-around that could have allowed them to sideload apps, as we have on Android.

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Here's how the bug blocked downloads

Fix

Complaints flooded Twitter, prompting Apple to issue fix

Complaints flooded Twitter, prompting Apple to issue fix

As complaints flooded Twitter, Apple issued a server-side update to fix the bug.

Speaking to TechCrunch, a person familiar with the matter explained that the issue affected a small percentage of Apple's global iOS user-base.

He didn't give an exact figure, but considering the humongous install base of iOS, we believe a large number of users might have been impacted.

Fix installation

Users don't have to do anything

That said, if you've been facing this issue lately, just wait for a few hours and the problem will end on its own.

It is a server-side update, which means the fix will be installed automatically and you won't have to do anything like installing a fix or update manually.

So far, Apple has not commented on the issue.

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