Developer Jeff Johnson has noticed several apps in the App Store showing what he calls “phantom updates,” with the App Store showing them as updated even though no changes had been made by the developers themselves for a year or more. Version numbers showed as the same and some apps had the exact same release notes as before while others included new text that stated, “This update is signed with Apple’s latest signing certificate.” Some have speculated that Apple performed a Bitcode recompilation on the apps, but Johnson dug into the app he worked on and found that didn’t seem to be the case. There were changes to the resource rules, but he found that unlikely to be the cause for an Apple-issued update, so the mystery of why these updates occurred remains as Apple hasn’t released a statement. The apps should operate just as before, so outside of getting an App Store notification to update an app that doesn’t need updating, the impact should be minimal for users, although those on limited data plans may want to check Settings, iTunes & App Store to ensure that automatic updates while on cellular are disabled.
App Store apps that haven’t been updated showing ‘phantom updates’ despite remaining unchanged
By Dan Pye
Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.