It’s only been a few but gruesome days for those who updated their iOS devices to the just launched iOS13.5. A new bug that appeared with it led to apps refusing to open. Apple has now according to Techcrunch confirmed that the issue has been fixed.
Soon after the IOS 13.5 release, users began noticing and reporting a strange bug that caused apps to no longer open. Not everyone was affected but some were. Users were met with a strange message when trying to open apps that said “This app is no longer shared with you. To use it, you must buy it from the App Store.”
This new issue was, as it turns out, related to the Family Sharing System, the reason why not everyone was affected by it. It affected only users who were part of a sharing account, where one family member pays for apps for the rest of their family with their Apple ID.
The Family Sharing System also applies to free apps, which led to the same mind-boggling message on apps that were free to download.
Some users who didn’t update to iOS 13.5 or iOS 13 for that matter also faced the same issue, meaning this was not just limited to the latest software.
Some users found that restarting their device fixed the issue, and others uninstalled and reinstalled the apps which also seemed to fix the issue.
Apple took action on Sunday, May 24. Which Forbes reported a mysterious iPhone anomaly on that day. Many Apple users noticed that apps were updating on their devices in far larger numbers than usual. That is if they set their device to automatically update apps. Sometimes hundred of apps would update all at once. Those who didn’t have automatic updates enabled instead saw a bunch of apps suddenly showing as pending. This anomaly was Apple trying to fix the Family Sharing System bug.
Apple basically did what those users reinstalling the apps did. The app updates were overwriting the previous version with no difference or improvement between the two, apart from the fact that the Family Sharing system was now resolved.
The cause of the family sharing bug is still unclear but 9to5Mac said it was likely down to a signing issue which made the apps behave as if they were paid downloads which had, out of the blue, lost the rights to be shared.
TechCrunch has now said the issue has been resolved for all affected users. No further details were shared but the fast action by Apple was necessary so users don’t blame the app developers for an issue which is not their fault.
If you still get the “no longer shared” message, all you need to do is go to the App Store app on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Apple ID icon in the top right that leads you to your account and check out if you have any pending update. Then just update all and you should be good. You could also choose to have updates happen automatically in the future. To do so, go to Settings, iTunes and App Store, then select App Updates in the Automatic Downloads section.