Archive for July 5, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Xtrail 1.0.1

Xtrail ($5) is currently my GPS fitness app of choice. Its configurable interface is reminiscent of Kinetic ($4), but it’s simpler and more accurate at tracking my route. MotionX-GPS ($1) has far better maps, but it requires a lot more taps to get things done. Xtrail is beautifully designed for making the common tasks easy. Alas, as is becoming common with iPhone apps, there’s no documentation or support. I e-mailed the developer some questions and suggestions (twice) and never received a reply.

Update (2012-07-06): After I blogged this, the developer sent a helpful reply and apologized for her support team overlooking my messages.

Update (2013-09-17): Sophia Teutschler:

CoverSutra and Xtrail are no longer available for sale and won’t get any more updates either. Both apps flopped and were also plagued with technical issues.

“Find and Call” Trojan

Denis Maslennikov:

[Our] analysis of the iOS and Android versions of the same application showed that it’s not an SMS worm but a Trojan that uploads a user’s phonebook to remote server. The ‘replication’ part is done by the server - SMS spam messages with the URL to the application are being sent from the remote server to all the contacts in the user’s address book.

Via Jeff Johnson, who asks, “Isn’t the review process supposed to protect us from this?”

Corrupt App Store Binaries Crashing On Launch

Marco Arment:

The only fix for people with bad copies, once good copies are being served again by the App Store, is to delete and reinstall the app.


And it’s even more serious for apps that store user-created data or game progress locally: if the only fix is to delete and reinstall the app, many users will lose their data.

The problem began on July 3. He stopped updating the list of affected apps after it reached 114. This is one of the downsides of a centralized system: a bug in the store can potentially affect every app on the platform, and developers are powerless to fix their own apps.

Update (2012-07-05): Lex Friedman:

Apple hadn’t responded to Macworld’s request for comment by the time we first published this story. Around 6:00 p.m. PT, Apple acknowledged the problem to Macworld, describing it as “a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded.” Apple added: “The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again.”

Commenter MacTechAspen:

I had a similar issue with one of our OSX apps. It took months to get Apple to fix the problem and pull most of the reviews. A few reviews were left and our average rating took a hit because of it. I am a pretty rabid Apple fan but I was less than thrilled with how they handled the problem, and how much effort it took to get them to deal with it. I CCed the emails to the editors here in case they thought the processes was worth commenting on. The email thread went between very concerned and helpful, to comically unattached, and back and forth again.

Update (2012-07-06): Marco Arment:

ather than remove the 1-star reviews — as far as I can tell, they’re all still there — it appears that Apple has triggered a reupdate on the affected apps, Instapaper included.

This means that the apps can be fixed without losing locally stored data.

Update (2012-07-06): Oddly, Apple described the problem as affecting a “small number of users.”

Apple’s Icon Ecosystem

Chris Sauve:

I think this guidance provides ample argument against this type of icon transfer. While the difference may not be as notable with the icons blown up to a large size like I have shown them here, details such as those on the Garageband guitar or the Pages inkwell are completely lost when seen on the smaller iPhone or iPad screens. Quelle surprise, as the French may say, that Apple says one thing and does another!