February 16, 2012
Update: Apple reached out to let us know that the issue should be resolved. However, if you experience any new issues (as of 2/21/2012) please let us know in the comments! At first we thought it was a minor glitch. Then we thought that maybe, just maybe some sneaky developers were trying to pull some no-good shady stuff. Finally, today, we have decided enough is enough. We need to get to the bottom of this "item is currently being modified" issue that has been plaguing the App Store for the past two weeks, or at the very least address it, because Apple sure doesn't seem to care. If you're not up to speed on this issue, let me explain. About two weeks ago something terrible happened in the App Store, and we're still not sure what. Apps that received any type of price change, whether it was a small discount or a short term free period, started randomly displaying this absolutely maddening message: "This item is currently being modified. Please try again later." This message isn't exactly new, and it normally isn't a big deal. Usually what this means is that a developer has just recently modified their app in some way and that it will soon be available for download. By soon we mean within an hour or two, at max. But if only that were the case! For reasons unknown to us, apps that unceremoniously spring this message upon you now do so for more than just mere hours -- they can last for up to two to three days! This, of course, isn't just a problem for the savvy app downloaders out there, it's also a huge inconvenience for the developers, as they are losing out on all kinds of profits and missing out on downloads. Even worse, there doesn't seem to be a pattern behind the madness. The best example we have is our daily AppsGoneFree lists. Every single app that has been included in our lists over the past two weeks we have personally been able to download and test. Some of our unsuspecting readers, however, haven't been nearly as lucky. We have received literally hundreds of reports of this message popping up and sticking for not all, but many of the apps included in our daily AppsGoneFree lists and our articles. Some proactive iDevice users have even taken to Apple's discussion boards voicing their displeasure, but remain without a solution. We have also received reports from the developers themselves who have stated that not only have their download numbers completely dropped off the face of the earth when this message appears, but also that they have been receiving the exact same complaints that we have. Since there is nothing we and the unfortunate app developers can do on our ends, you can imagine the frustration. And so we arrive at the point to this post: We need your help! If you're a developer who has been affected by this issue, it'd be great if you could let us know in the comments below when your app went free, how long the message continued to display, and where you're located. Additional details would be great as well, if you can get your hands on them, like which country or region your users who are being affected are accessing the App Store from. The same goes for you, AppAdvice readers! We want to know which apps you have been having issues with, when you tried to download them (and when you eventually could, if you could), and your general location. We're hoping to gather up enough information to not only prove to Apple that this is a widespread and rather infuriating issue, but also try to help them solve it sooner rather than later. Thanks for your help and continued support!