News

Developers shed light on unstable iPhone apps

Phew, we weren't making it up...

Developers shed light on unstable iPhone apps
|

If you read our iPhone 3G review yesterday, you'll have seen the section where we complained about suffering two major crashes when installing apps, requiring complete restores taking several hours.

With that in mind, there's an intriguing post on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, suggesting that the problem isn't necessarily the fault of developers' dodgy coding. As they explain:

"Anonymous developer sources are reporting that they've been poring over crash logs and discovering that the reported crash has nothing to do with their application. There's a growing consensus that Apple has released a highly unstable "final" version of the 2.0 firmware."
More worryingly, when apps may be at fault, it seems developers may have problems fixing them. On his personal blog, Iconfactory's Craig Hockenberry (of Twitterific fame) writes about the problems in identifying and fixing bugs in iPhone apps.
"The big problem here is that the only way to install software on an iPhone or iPod touch is with the App Store. There are also no provisions for beta testing... The only way to "test" a fix is to release the changes to tens of thousands of users. It's the developer equivalent of playing Russian roulette."
In short, any problems you're experiencing installing or playing iPhone games may be the fault of the iPhone 2.0 software rather than the individual app, but if it is the app, the developers may have a hard time fixing it.

As our coverage shows, we're very excited about the iPhone's potential as a games device, but the fact that developers are speaking out shows Apple needs to start chucking some resources at the stability issues around iPhone apps.