I knew something was wrong when I saw the third status change email from Apple on my phone. The first I had received just before dinner, letting me know that a relatively minor update for Home Inventory Photo Remote had gone into review. When I checked my email after dinner there were two additional status change notices waiting in my inbox. This was not good.
Apple puts every app (including updates) through a review process to make sure certain standards are met before being allowed in the App Store. Apps go through several status changes during this process and the status I had expected after Photo Remote cleared review is called Pending Developer Release, meaning everything was approved and all I need to do is a click a button in iTunes Connect when I’m ready to make the app available in the store. The status in that second email was Processing for App Store (it was approved and should appear in the store soon) and the third email indicated the status had changed to Ready for Sale (it’s in the store now). We had intended to hold off on releasing this update until the next update to Home Inventory is available.
That update, along with a new iOS helper app called Home Inventory Remote Entry, are still awaiting review by Apple and won’t be available until next week, at the earliest. Remote Entry replaces Photo Remote for the upcoming version of Home Inventory and has a lot more functionality.
We will need to get the word out to everyone that they will need to use Remote Entry with the new version of Home Inventory instead of Photo Remote and the aforementioned Photo Remote update is one way we are going to do this. It displays a notice on the main screen that tells the user that they will need to download Remote Entry if they’re using Home Inventory 3.3 or later and includes a nifty button that takes them straight to Remote Entry in the App Store (which will be available for free). Of course we haven’t released Home Inventory 3.3 or Remote Entry yet so the notice makes no sense and the button takes you to a blank page.
We can tell by the large spike in downloads that appear in our stats whenever we push an update that a lot of people have automatic updates turned on, which means this little premature bundle of bits will soon be on tens of thousands of phones. All because some developer (I’m not saying who) did not click the Manually release this version box when (s)he submitted the update to Apple.
There is no easy way to roll back to the prior version. We could submit the previous version as a new update and then resubmit this latest update again (with the hold flag set correctly), but it’s unlikely they’d both clear App Review before Home Inventory 3.3 launches. Another option is to remove Photo Remote from the store until the new Home Inventory is ready for launch. That would prevent existing users from updating it before we want them to, but it would also keep people who don’t have Photo Remote from getting it in the interim.
So, it looks like we’re stuck with this thing making no sense for the next however many days. Please accept our apologies for the confusion and be assured the (still unnamed) developer will be flogged and forced to binge-watch every episode of Cop Rock.