Updated: February 3, 2023
It was a chaotic afternoon for many iPhone users yesterday after many reported their apps were crashing at launch. Detailed in a GitHub thread, major iOS apps including Spotify, Tinder, Pinterest and Quora were apparently crashing due to an issue in the Facebook software development kit (SDK) used by many apps for sign in.
However, even people who don’t use Facebook to login to their iPhone apps were reportedly having issues. This is because the SDK will often be part of apps as an option even if it’s not actually used.
The problems started yesterday afternoon pacific time. If you take a look on Downdetector, you can see a spike in reports about apps including Spotify, Pinterest, Tinder and TikTok in the afternoon and evening PT on May 6.
When users launched their iOS apps, they simply crashed, so people were unable to use them at all. At a time when many are locked down at home, not being able to use social networking and music apps is frustrating, to say the least.
However, reports of app crashes are dying down at the time of writing and Facebook says the issue has been fixed.
A Facebook spokeswoman sent me a statement over email, which reads: “Yesterday, a new release of Facebook included a change that triggered crashes for some users in some apps using the Facebook iOS SDK. We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
Why you shouldn’t use sign in with Facebook
Although people were affected who didn’t use the Facebook sign in feature, I wouldn’t recommend you use this to log into your iOS apps. As well as the security risks of trusting Facebook to sign into apps, you are also endangering your privacy as your app data can be shared with Facebook and its “partners.”
Launched in September last year, Apple’s iOS 13 comes with multiple security and privacy features intended to help stop apps such as Google and Facebook collecting so much data. It also introduced Sign in with Apple, which you’ll start to see in a lot more iOS apps very soon.