Apple recently rolls out a fix for a bug that completely renders almost all of iOS apps completely useless.
The bug surface after the release of iOS 13.5 update. While many praise the update, hiding underneath it is a bug that blocks users from reopening the app. Massive reports of the bug led Apple to hastily create a patch and finally rolls it out recently.
The bug that started it all
Right after the release of iOS 13.5, users start to report a bug that essentially turns an app completely useless. According to user reports, not all iOS users experience it. However, to those who are affected, they receive this message when re-opening an app:
“This app is no longer shared with you. To use it, you must buy it from the App Store.”
Investigation into the bug points to an issue with regards to the iOS Family Sharing System. This particular factor hinders the spread of the bug. Apparently, the bug only affects users who are part of a family account.
Since the Family Sharing feature also extends to free apps, it confuses users why the bug appears. Moreover, even those who did not upgrade to iOS 13.5 also report experiencing the same issue.
New in #iOS 13.5:
• Support for contact tracing apps
• Face ID devices skip directly to the passcode screen when swiping up in the lock screen while wearing a mask
• Option to turn off prominence by speaking, in FaceTime
• Share Music song to Instagram stories#iOS135 pic.twitter.com/JZBdAVTNXC
— Apple Software Updates (@AppleSWUpdates) May 18, 2020
Some users report a simple workaround. Those using older versions of the iPhone and iPad report that turning the device off and on again fixes the issue.
Others resort to deleting the app and downloading it again. However, many were left wondering how to work out the issue.
Following massive reports, Apple immediately responds with a fix. However, some users notice that the fix also brings a bug of its own.
Many users claim that apps are updating in massive numbers simultaneously, with some noticing hundreds of updates at a time. However, it appears that this bug only triggers when apps are set to update automatically. Those that did not do so only see app updates as pending.
Tech experts claim that the update works in the same way as the delete-redownload workaround. The update overwrites the old version of the app even with no noticeable change. In essence, the update works just like a repeat install.
The exact cause of the bug is still unclear and investigators are still working on finding it. However, some tech experts surmise that it might be due to a number of signing issues with Apple. This results in an app, even if free, function as a premium one.
Image courtesy of Przemyslaw Marczynski/Unsplash