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Tips for Installing New Versions

Started by arlo, January 17, 2014, 01:36:43 PM

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No matter how much testing a developer does, new software versions can create new problems. I have several beta testers helping test my apps, but Set List Maker and BandHelper have so much interconnected functionality and so many configuration options that it's virtually impossible to anticipate every problem.

However, if you rely on these apps for your performances, there are a few things you can do to avoid problems:

1) Turn off the app auto-updating option on your device. This gives you control over when to install a new app version. On iOS, this is located in the Settings app in iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Updates. On Android, this is located in the Google Play Store app in My Apps > [app name] > Auto-Update. In the Google Play Store app, you should also make sure Settings > Notifications > App Updates Available is turned on.

2) When a new app version is available, you will see a badge on the App Store icon on iOS, or receive a notification on Android. You can then open the App Store or Play Store app and read the What's New text for the update to see if you want the update. You can also check the Announcements area of my forum to see if any problems have been identified so far. The first bug reports usually appear within 48 hours. If there is a new bug, you can decide whether it will affect you and wait for the following version if needed.

3) Check the version number of the new update and compare it to this version numbering system: x.0 = major new functionality, possible changes to existing functionality, possible new design; x.x = major new functionality; x.x.x = bug fixes or very minor new functionality. It's generally smart to skip x.0 updates and wait for bug fixes to come with the subsequent x.x.x updates.

4) Before installing an update, back up your device. This saves all your app data as well as the previous version of the app itself so you can restore to the backup if needed. This is also the only way to revert to an earlier version of an app.

5) If you're syncing databases between multiple devices, it's best to sync all your devices before updating, then update all the devices to the same app version. This is especially helpful with major releases that may add new kinds of data to the databases.

6) Keep your OS version and your app version roughly in sync. If you decide to stop updating your OS, it's a good idea to also stop update your apps, and vice versa. Running old apps with a new OS version, or new apps with an old OS version, is a common source of problems. This is more of an issue on iOS than on Android since iOS usually has bigger changes and less backwards compatibility between versions.

If you would like to join the beta testing team to help catch problems before each release, please visit my Help Wanted page here:

Moon Dog

I would really have liked to have known this BEFORE now....


The last backup to iCloud I did was on 20 February 2014. I just restored to that backup but version 4 of Setlist Maker is still on my iPad. 


Okay, I'll try a rollback myself tomorrow and let you know what I find.


Okay, in order to roll back an app version installed from your iOS device, you need to delete the app from your device, then restore your device from an iTunes or iCloud backup from before the update, then sync with your computer to install the previous version of the app.

Before doing this, confirm that your computer has the desired version of the app. Go to iTunes, click the Apps section, look for Set List Maker, right-click it, choose Get Info, and look at the version number. If the version is the same as the version you're trying to roll back from, this process won't do any good. If the version is too old, you will probably run into bugs or crashes because your data will not be compatible with the older app. You can look up version numbers on the release notes page.

Next, confirm that iTunes or iCloud contains a backup from before the app update. Deleting an app deletes all that app's data, so you will lose all your data if you don't have a valid backup. You can see a list of available iTunes backups in iTunes (on your computer) in Preferences > Devices. You can see a list of available iCloud backups in the Settings app (on your mobile device) in iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage.

Please note, if you are restoring to a backup from iTunes, you must cancel the backup that starts running when you connect your device to your computer, otherwise that new backup will replace any older backups that you want to roll back to.

If you install Set List Maker's database sync feature and sync your databases with that before deleting the app, that will give you a second backup of your app data in case the iTunes or iCloud restore fails. I can verify these backups for you if you send me a message from Help > Request Tech Support for each database you wish to verify.

One more note for anybody who wants to roll back from version 4.0: if you don't want to use the new design, then you must turn off app auto-updating as described in my first post above. Otherwise it will be installed again when I release version 4.0.1, and 4.0.2, etc.


As of iTunes version 12.7 released in Septemer 2017 (and required to sync with iOS 11?), iTunes no longer keeps or syncs local copies of apps, so I don't think the above method will work anymore.