This past weekend iPhone users reported that a number of the popular apps were crashing on all iOS devices.
People using iPhones and iPads found that apps and services including Pinterest, Spotify, TikTok, Hinge, Fitbit, Twitter, Strava, and Snapchat were inaccessible, and social media apps were completely crashing.
A number of mobile games were also crashing including Jurassic World Alive, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, Mario Kart Tour and Call of Duty.
Affected users took to Twitter to voice their problems, with tweets like the following from @alex_madore flooding the platform - “is anyone else having a problem with their iPhone where apps keep crashing unexpectedly? It's getting really frustrating.”
Whilst initially there was confusion as to what was causing the problem, it's now been revealed to be a Facebook related problem.
The source of the crashing apps seems to be Facebook’s software development kit - SDK. A lot of apps bypass registration forms by simply allowing you to log in with your Facebook account, and it appears a bug has led to apps that use this function crashing.
Facebook identified the problem and said: “We are aware and investigating an increase in errors on the iOS SDK which is causing some apps to crash.”
Since then the problem seems to have been fixed with Facebook stating the issue has been “resolved”.
This isn’t the first time Facebook’s SDK has led to app outage either. Pretty much exactly the same thing happened earlier in the year, May 6th to be exact, with many apps and services rendered unusable for a portion of the day.
Since the SDK operates through Facebook, if there’s an issue with Facebook this then affects a whole range of apps.. Every time you open an app that logs in using the SDK, it then has to connect to Facebook’s servers to authenticate.
A workaround for this problem if it happens again could be opening the affected app offline, this works with Spotify however it does mean you can only access your offline playlists.