App developers didn’t get much of a holiday this week, due to an issue with Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores that is causing apps to crash the minute they’re launched.

Leading the flow of news on the problem is Marco Arment, founder and sole developer of Instapaper and previously the lead developer of Tumblr. Apple, meanwhile, has not been forthcoming with information.

After three days of problems, Apple finally posted the following two sentences on its developers-only forum Thursday: ““We are aware of the issue related to apps crashing after update. We are currently working on resolving the issue. Stay tuned for updates.”

Whatever is wrong has affected well in excess of 100 apps, including Angry Birds Space Free, Yahoo Search, the Los Angeles Times, Dolphin HS Browser and the Huffington Post. (See partial list, below.)

Arment first noticed the problem when consumers downloaded the new Instapaper version 4.2.3 and he immediately began getting a flood of complaints and negative reviews. He has been explaining further on his blog, and sent a tweet to his over 40,000 followers that said: “I’ll repeat my warning to developers: if you can help it, do not release app updates today. The corruption is widespread and ongoing.”

Other developers are also doing their best to retain users and minimize the damage the issue may be doing to their reputations.

“It appears that Apple has recently changed something in their app distribution engine, and ever since that change there are ongoing problems at Apple’s end,” GoodRead posted on its support page. “These problems result in a number of customers receiving a damaged binary which doesn’t start after updating apps on their devices.”

This follows another serious issue Apple had with its App Store this week. As detailed on Kaspersky Lab’s SecureList blog, it was distributing an app called Find and Call that steals the user’s contact data and sends SMS spam to every number it obtained.

Related links:

Marco Arment – Corrupt App Store binaries crashing on launch

TechCrunch – Apple Responds To App Crashing Issues, Has A Dedicated Team Working On A Fix

Information Week – Apple’s App Store Distributes Corrupted Updates

TechCrunch – FairPlay DRM May Be To Blame For Widespread iOS & Mac App Crashes

Venture Beat – Apple distributing corrupt apps, tells developers to “stay tuned

Ars Technica – Recent iOS, Mac app crashes linked to botched FairPlay DRM

Kaspersky’s SecureList – Find and Call: Leak and Spam

GoodReader – Issue resolution: “GoodReader for iPad update can’t be launched”

Photo by Flickr user stepheye, used under Creative Commons license

Marco Arment’s partial list of known affected apps that are or were corrupted:
• Instapaper
• Aboalarm
• Al & Joe Bust Out
• Angry Birds Space Free
• Angry Birds Space HD Free
• AroundCal
• Autocité Parkings
• Big Start
• Bird Song Id
• Bunker Buster
• CarZen
• Checkout Helper
• Chord Picker
• CincyMobile
• CLM iPlanner
• Cocktailpedia
• CommBank Kaching
• Cubemen
• DocuNotes+
• Dolphin HS Browser
• Dosecast
• Dunno
• Face Juggler Free
• Face Juggler Plus
• Festival d’Avignon OFF 2012
• FlattrCast
• Flick Soccer
• Flight International
• Gaia GPS
• Gluddle
• GoodReader (more)
• Heart Booth Free
• Heart Booth HD Free
• Huffington
• iBike Moto
• Ice Age Village
• iCoyote Europe
• iDesign
• iMieiFarmaci
• iPronto To Do
• iPronto To Do HD
• iPronto To Do Lite
• iPronto To Do Lite HD
• iQIF
• iQuikDoF
• iTankster
• Jewel World Skull Edition
• L’
• LA Times
• Letris 2
• Letris Power
• Levee en Masse HD
• Lords & Knights
• Lucky Slots
• M6
• Mag+ Reviewer
• Maps 3D
• Maps 3D Lite
• Matchbook
• Max Payne Mobile
• Mayvio Budget
• Measure Map
• Measure Map Lite
• MedCalc
• MedCalc Pro
• Meetup
• Melodies Pro
• MemoryBrands
• Metronome+
• mixi
• MoPho
• MultiTrack DAW
• My Medical Info
• My365
• OrderPat Server
• outdooractive
• Pair
• PDX Bus
• Peekaboo Barn
• Phoster
• Pinball Maniacs
• Please Stay Calm
• Quote Unquote
• Qwak
• Readdle Scanner Pro (more)
• Redshift
• Samurai vs Zombies Defense
• Ski Safari
• Skoobe
• Simple RSS Push
• Sleep Bug Pro
• Slotomania
• SMARTReporter (Mac)
• SmartScan+OCR
• Smilebox
• Sprightly Pyramid Solitaire
• Stack the States
• Stat E&M Coder
• Synalyze It! (Mac)
• Tap Sonic
• Tap’N Ride
• The Early Edition 2
• The Magic of Reality
• Threadnote
• @View
• W9
• Wakaru
• Wind expert
• Word Lens
• Wrackle
• Yahoo! Search
• Young Art