A bug that has been found in the Background Refresh feature, which is a new way to multitask in iOS 7, is affecting some of the most popular apps in the App Store.
When Apple previewed iOS 7 back in WWDC, it was met with thunderous applause. This was primarily because after nearly half a decade people saw iOS go through a dramatic shift in user interface. Where previous iOS releases had focused on under the hood changes, iOS 7 put the user interface first above other features. But beauty is only skin deep and Apple realises that. In order to compete with other platforms, iOS needed to have more tricks up its sleeve. And one such trick is the new Background Refresh feature. Where previous iterations of iOS 4 and above have had some form of multitasking, it was quite limited. No app could truly run in the background and update or pull data which really limited apps in what they could achieve.
This problem was alleviated with Background Refresh, which allows apps to update in the background when the app isn’t running on the foreground. Needless to say this was the single biggest “under the hood” change to iOS for a long time and met with enthusiasm from developers all over. Unfortunately though a bug has been discovered in this feature which is affecting most apps out there that were quick to implement it.
Mailbox and Snapchat users are the hardest hit victims of this bug. Mailbox users are experiencing repeated prompts to setup the app again from scratch whenever they quit it. Whenever the app is closed and launched again after a while, it forces the user to go through the setup process all over again. Snapchat is experiencing the exact same issue. Mailbox developers have identified Background Refresh to be the culprit. Their latest update temporarily disables the feature which seems to have alleviated the issue. Snapchat has also sent an update and is awaiting certification. Similarly users are experiencing issues similar to this with other apps as well.
Mailbox developers are currently in contact with Apple’s support team with regards to this bug. We certainly hope the issue is resolved as soon as possible. Currently though we’re unaware of whether it’s from Apple’s end or simply a case of incorrect implementation from the developers. It is also pertinent to mention that no such bug was reported in the GM release.