Tapbots, the developer behind the Tweebot Twitter client for iOS, faced a dash of the familiar abuse from (ironically) followers on Twitter when, as per, they released a new version of Tweetbot as a paid, $4.99 upgrade. This year, however, the process of removing the old Tweetbot 3 from sale (in order to direct sales towards Tweetbot 4) came with a surprise: besides disappearing from the App Store, Tweetbot 3 also disappeared from customers’ Purchase Histories.
Here, you can of course re-download applications you’ve originally purchased. But, as TouchArcade explains, for iOS applications which have been removed from the sale on the App Store, it seems a banishment from the Purchase History pane is also in place:
It turns out that recently the App Store has a new bug, or "feature," depending on how you look at it. Tapbots discovered that when they removed Tweetbot 3 from sale, to drive purchases to the new Tweetbot 4, it also was unintentionally nuked from everyone’s purchase histories.
Interesting. Well, far be it from Tapbots to leave Tweetbot 3 out of its customers’ Purchase History tabs. Because the developer soon figured out a workaround, and brought Tweetbot 3 back.
As TouchArcade notes, it seems that an iOS app needs to be on sale on the App Store somewhere in the world for it to appear in the application’s Purchase History tab. If it’s on sale, it’s live to re-download from this interface; if it’s off sale, then the app in question will disappear from the Purchase History pane (which spells sad faces for users of the software). TouchArcade continues:
The solution to this problem comes from keeping Tweetbot 3 up for sale somewhere, which miraculously re-enabled anyone who had bought it before to download it. The region they chose was the landlocked, French speaking, west African nation of Burkina Faso. The Burkinabé are the only people on the planet lucky enough to have the choice between buying Tweetbot 3 and Tweetbot 4.
The move, of course, has brought Tweetbot 3 back to the Purchase History tab, resulting in smiles the whole world over.
Of course, this is an issue for Apple to approach and adjust, rather than individual developers like Tapbots. In fact, as both Paul Haddad (of Tapbots) and TouchArcade note, the problem is too big for developers to deal with themselves. Moreover, larger developer-publishers could see issues with licensing prevent them from taking the route Tapbots has.
Let’s hope Apple solves the problem pronto. We’ll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.