Boom! Apple broke App Store accounts for many users with multiple accounts recently. On checking for updates and clicking the helpful ‘Download All Free Updates’ button, iTunes rather unhelpfully states: ‘You can not update this software since you have not owned the major version of this software’. Whether this is a bug (which we hope) or a change in App Store policy is unknown at this time. However, since writing about the subject on my own blog and Twitter, it’s clear the issue is widespread, and Apple support has yet to supply any kind of insight regarding a fix.
Previously, App Store updates for users/Macs with multiple accounts were awkward in UI terms but at least logical. You signed into an account, selected Applications, checked for updates and then downloaded what was available. If you noticed a number next to Applications after apps had been updated, that meant updates were available in another account. So you’d sign into that one as well and repeat the process.
Now, all available updates for all accounts are displayed at once, but iTunes isn’t intelligent enough to figure out which apps belong to the active account. Therefore, you try to update everything, iTunes realises some apps it’s showing are tied to a different account, and it throws up the appallingly clumsy dialog error ‘You can not update this software since you have not owned the major version of this software’.
At present, the only solution is to click on every single Get Update link individually, dismiss the dialog if it appears, and when you’ve gone through every app, sign into other accounts and repeat the process.
Perhaps Apple’s cracking down on people with multiple accounts in different countries (although most people I know who do this keep a US account for promo codes, since Apple’s still inexplicably restricting them to the US store). That said, I’ve had emails from people stating that they get the same error with multiple accounts from the same store on a single machine. Therefore, this is most likely a pretty big bug that needs squashing, but if so that’s only indicative of how one of Apple’s most important pieces of software needs some serious TLC, as Pete noted on the 4th.
I currently have a (second-line) support call logged with Apple on this, and will update if I get a response. If you’re also having this issue, please post in the comments.
One of the greatest things about App Store games is that they’ve broken the seemingly relentless escalation of costs for developers and price-increases for end users. In a sense, many of the games on the store return us to the halcyon days of 8-bit games—playable, quickfire efforts that innovated and packed in plenty of personality.
Over at creature24.com, three guys are about to take this idea to the extreme, taking a skeleton idea for an iPhone game through to App Store submission—all in just 24 hours. Progress will be shown live on the website on March 6, starting at 9:00am EST, and the trio of devs say comments from visitors might even be integrated into the game. I caught up with one of the three crazy game creators, Binary Hammer‘s Bob Koon, to find out more.
I’m a long-time fan of territory games. Civilization sucked me in on the Amiga and its sequel appealed on the Mac. For quicker games in a similar vein, various Risk clones for the Mac (such as iConquer) once took up numerous tiny chunks of my day. But when I discovered Galcon for iPhone, the others vanished. Here was a crazy real-time Risk/stripped-down Civ, with brutally fast gameplay and land-grabbing. In single-player mode, it was compelling, and against online opposition, a joy.