Szechuan Sauce Strikes Back: App Store Update Problems Lead to Fan Outrage

Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

It was the night of September 25, and numerous apps and games were supposed to receive important updates. These apps’ users and games’ players thought it would be just like any ordinary night – until seconds became minutes, minutes became hours, and hours became days as the updates failed to show up on the App Store – and Android users received their updates just fine, leaving poor iPhone users in the dust.

Among the affected apps were three very popular games: Mario Kart Tour, Cookie Run: OvenBreak, and Dragalia Lost. Other affected apps included ZOSI Smart App, Poesi, Telegram, FUT Alert, DanMachi Memoria Freese, KAI Access, Gundam Battle, Whimsical War, Amino, and Dawn of the Breakers. 

Enraged fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with the site turning into chaos as some users tried to console others that blamed the apps’ individual developers for the problems when Apple was to blame. Eventually, this turned into widespread frustration with Apple itself. Some users even took to making memes about their impatience, the unfairness of Android users being able to update before them, and the frustration of the update not coming like it should, commenting them on tweets put out by the Cookie Run Twitter account. Of the affected apps and games, the majority of them acknowledged the inconvenience on social media; only Mario Kart Tour and Dragalia Lost did not acknowledge the updating issue at all. 

Funnily enough, the new character introduced with Cookie Run’s update, intended to release the night of the 25th, is based on Mala sauce – a Chinese hot sauce made with Szechuan peppers. This coincidence becomes hilarious remembering the hysteria that unfolded over McDonald’s Szechuan sauce in 2017 upon its return sponsored by the Adult Swim cartoon Rick & Morty. Some have pointed out the similarities – the long lines people waited on, lasting days in some regions, and the hysteria that broke out just to get a single, small container of sauce parallels the long waits and overall frustration surrounding these apps’ updates. 

There was no cause reported for the issue, but there had been some speculation that it had to do with the security warning Apple issued September 24 about third-party keyboard apps leaking data. According to Forbes, Apple confirmed “that both iOS 13.1 and its new iPadOS 13.1 have a flaw which enables third-party keyboards to attain ‘full access’ to your iPhones and iPads ‘even if you haven’t approved this access’.” 

So, it’s possible that Apple took extra measures to make sure other apps don’t do the same, which could possibly explain the extended update-publishing times.

Apple did not issue an official statement about the App Store problem at all, but the problem was resolved the night of September 26 leaving many relieved.