One of the most important aspects of any app, even more so for one used on stage, is its reliability and stability. We work very hard to ensure that forScore performs as close to flawlessly as possible, but stability is actually a moving target. Every change we make, and—more importantly—every update Apple releases, creates an opportunity for things to go wrong. The past few months have made that clear once again, and today we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge some of the issues we’ve seen; not to complain or shift blame, but to let you know that we see them and we take them very seriously.
Since the release of iOS 8 the most consistent source of forScore’s crashes was related to how the system handles popovers. For two years it caused problems (not often, and not for most people, but enough to frustrate us and those customers it affected). Thankfully, this past year’s release of iOS 10 finally fixed it. As with any major iOS update, though, iOS 10 came with its own set of challenges.
First, we discovered that it would crash when attempting to display PDF files that had previously worked fine with older releases. Apple worked quickly to stop the crash, but in its place we got only a half fix: in iOS 10.1 the system displayed those files as blank pages instead. That was fixed with the most recent release of iOS 10.2, along with a separate bug that had been causing semi-transparent drawings to temporarily appear darker than normal while annotating on devices that support wide color profiles (the new iPad Pro 9.7″ and the iPhone 7).
Now we’re beginning to see a troubling increase in crashes in several different versions of forScore but all for users running iOS 10.2. The total number of affected devices is small, to be sure, but big enough that we must now take the uncomfortable step of recommending against installing iOS 10.2 if you haven’t already.
It’s hard to know when to point these issues out publicly and when to address them with customers individually instead. On the one hand, we want people to update to the latest version of iOS and take advantage of its new features and bug fixes. Each time we warn people not to install one, more and more people decide to never update at all. On the other hand, we know that many of our customers rely on forScore more than they rely on any other app, so we want to communicate issues while people still have a chance to avoid them.
This bug has a very specific effect but it’s also intermittent and we haven’t yet been able to reproduce it in testing. As such, we can’t offer any sort of timeline for a workaround (if one is even possible). So for now our best advice is this: stick with your current setup if the version of iOS you’re using is working for you. When we know more, we’ll pass that information along right here.
Update: We’ve now released forScore 10.1.7 and forScore mini 3.1.7 which attempt to mitigate issues in several specific problem areas we’ve identified. Although these improvements have made a difference, we continue to recommend against installing iOS 10.2 until a more complete, permanent fix is available.