Apple has now resolved the bug that was plaguing iPhone and iPad apps over the weekend, causing some apps to not launch at all. The issue was related to a bug with Apple’s Family Sharing system, it appears, as users reported error messages which said “This app is no longer shared with you,” and directed them to buy the app from the App Store in order to still use it.
Following this issue, users on Sunday said they were seeing dozens of pending app updates for their iOS devices, some of which even went back to the app’s last update from well over a week ago. Users reported in forums seeing as many as 10, 20, 50 or even 100-plus new updates to install. This indicated a fix was in the works, as these were not brand-new updates — the apps were already up to date. Instead, these reissued updates seem to have been part of the fix for the Family Sharing problem, as afterward the bug was resolved.
Apple confirmed the issue has been now resolved for all affected customers.
Apple-focused news sites including MacRumors, 9to5Mac, Appleinsider, and others previously reported on the news of bug and the following deluge of app updates. 9to5Mac also offered a plausible explanation for what happened, saying it was likely due to a signing issue of some kind. Apps were essentially behaving as if they were paid downloads and the right to use the app had been removed from the iCloud family circle, the site explained.
Some users discovered they could delete the troubled app then re-download it to resolve the problem. That’s what the forced app updates did, too — they overwrote the parts of the apps causing the issue. Had Apple not reissued the app updates, many iOS users would have likely assumed it was the app developer’s fault. And they may have then left unfair complaints and 1-star reviews on the app’s App Store page as a result.
Apple has not shared any additional details about why the problem occurred in the first place, but if you happened to notice a significant increase in app updates on Sunday, that’s why.