Update: As expected, the apps are now back in the App Store!
A raft of readers noticed that the popular third-party Twitter app Tweetbot had disappeared from the App Store. In fact, all of Tapbot’s software vanished from both the iOS and Mac App Stores. Don’t panic … an Apple Developer program bug was the cause of the issue. The apps should be back soon.
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With the first party Twitter for Mac app now dead, fans of the leading third-party alternative iOS client got a little nervous when the app disappeared for many hours this morning.
Right now, the apps are still missing and customers setting up new iOS devices or restoring from backups are unable to download Tweetbot and the company’s other apps. Luckily, this is a temporary problem.
It turns out the Tapbots developer account expired, and for some reason the auto-renewal option failed, which led to the rather embarrassing outcome of all Tapbots apps getting pulled from the store.
To submit an app to the App Store, developers must become a member of the Apple Developer Program which costs upwards of $99 a year. If your membership elapses, your apps disappear from of the App Store.
Apple lets developers manually renew their accounts but there is also an automatic renewal option. Haddad says that Tapbots had setup auto-renewal with a credit card, but the card had expired when the payment was attempted.
It’s an unfortunate situation for the Tapbots team to deal with, but this means Tapbots customers can stop panicking that their favourite apps are in jeopardy. Whilst it may take a little while for Tapbots to sort this out, their apps like Tweetbot and Calcbot will be back soon.