Literature and Latte, the company and developer behind Scrivener, announced today that going forward the newest Mac iterations of their software will no longer be pushed directly to the Mac App store. Instead, the latest version will show up directly on the Literature and Latte website, with the Mac App store getting a release after the devs can be certain there are no software-breaking bugs to worry about.
It seems that the 3.1 release of the Mac version of Scrivener contained a serious glitch that would crash the software. Seeing as this is November, arguably the time of year that Scrivener sees the most usage due to National Novel Writing Month, the impact could have been catastrophic.
The most important thing when something like this slips through the net is to get a fix out immediately to ensure that very few users are affected. And this is exactly what we did. Within half an hour of releasing 3.1, we had received a handful of crash reports all pointing to the same issue. I immediately pulled the automatic updater so that no more users would be prompted to download 3.1, and within an hour of the problem becoming apparent, I had updated the version on our site to 3.1.1, which fixed the issue. As a result, only a handful of users ever saw the crash, and those that did had a fix in their hands within the hour. Disaster averted.
That’s the story for users who bought from us direct, at least – our Mac App Store customers aren’t so lucky. The Mac App Store review process means that there is no way to push out a critical bug fix with any speed. All you can do is submit it for review and then hope that Apple processes it swiftly. I submitted the 3.1.1 bug fix to the Mac App Store on Thursday, 8th November, around 9pm GMT, moments after releasing the patch on our site. I then requested an expedited review from Apple – Apple allows developers to request an expedited review in extenuating circumstances such as this – which was duly granted. My hope, therefore, was that the fix would be available on the Mac App Store within a matter of hours. Not so. As of the time of writing – November 9am on November 10th, a full 36 hours later – Scrivener 3.1.1 is still sitting “in review” with Apple. (Ironically, Scrivener 3.1 went through an unexpedited review in two hours.) As a result, many of our Mac App Store customers are being affected by the crash, and, quite understandably, many of them are leaving frustrated one-star reviews.
So if you’ve purchased either Scrivener or Scapple from the Mac App store, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the latest version in place after the initial release. it will show up as soon L&L can be sure of safe delivery to end users. If you’ve purchased the software directly from L&L, you will be first in line for each release.
Hopefully, this latest setback does not impact the release of Scrivener 3 for Windows, which was announced months ago but still does not have a final release date.