July 12, 2012

As many of you know, we released version 2.1 of the app to the App Store yesterday. However, minutes after being live, we started getting bug reports that the update crashes immediately on startup. Since we can’t revert just the update we’ve pulled the entire app from the store temporarily so that we can investigate and none of you will risk losing data.

Release Cycle

A little background. To create any given release, we go through roughly the following steps:

  • Determine which features and bug fixes should be in the upcoming release
  • Program the needed changes
  • Test, update, repeat as necessary

Once we’re happy that we have a good, stable version, we start a multi-day process:

  • Create the final build
  • Run through a battery of regression tests
  • Archive the code, the symbolication files, and other release-specific snapshots

Lastly, it gets sent to Apple (shortened due to non-disclosure agreement):

  • Submit the app to Apple for approval
  • Apple reviews it
  • Finally, Apple processes it and submits it to the App Store

What’s Happening in 2.1

For the crashes that we’ve seen (about 80, reported anonymously through TestFlight), we know that the app is crashing soon after startup. More specifically, it’s crashing when the database is first written to.

We’ve tried our best to recreate the problem, but between the 8 iPads we have for testing and multiple upgrade versions, we can’t make it happen. What’s also strange is that the code that is crashing has been there for almost a year now.

In a desktop environment, it seems like this would be related to the write permissions on disk- as if the app doesn’t have access to write to its own directory. But apps live in their own sandbox – the app should have full control, just like it always has.

Where we are now

We’ve pulled the app from the app store temporarily until we can get the problem fixed. While we believe that new installs of the app are unaffected, we don’t want to cause problems for all of our existing users. We can’t control update vs new install – it’s an all or nothing scenario.

We’ve sent emails to the pertinent people and groups within Apple, and have heard back. We’re trying to determine where the problem is now (either on our side or related to the app store process). We’ll update the blog when we know more.

Posted in: Current Progress | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “2.1 App Store issues”

  1. Daniel says:

    this wasn’t the crash-problem in 2.1?
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/05/apple_says_app_store_crashing_error_has_been_fixed.html

    just read about it and thought maybe it is the problem of your photosmithapp?

    daniel

    • Chris Horne says:

      We’re trying to be careful and not point fingers until we know for sure where the problem is. It’s possible that it’s an App Store problem (such as the July 4th issue), but we want to be sure before we place blame.

      But, yes, it’s a possibility that we’re looking into and talking to Apple about.

  2. Eric says:

    Hi. Updated to 2.1 after seeing your post yesterday and it’s crashing on open. If there is anything I can do to help your troubleshooting, I’d be happy to do it. Happy hunting.

    • Chris Horne says:

      It looks like we’ve found the problem, and are working on it now. Stay tuned… (and thanks for the offer for assistance!)