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Purported iOS 7 bug logs users out of popular apps like Mailbox and Snapchat

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mailbox main 1020 b

An apparent bug in Apple's iOS 7 software is repeatedly logging users out of several apps like Mailbox and Snapchat. The Verge has confirmed the issue directly with a few of the affected companies. Mailbox has said that it spent the last few days "in crisis mode" to find a solution. None of the sources we've spoken with have successfully solved the log-in problem thus far, but Mailbox today updated its app to remove background refresh, an iOS 7 feature that's one possible culprit, in order to temporarily solve the problem.

If Apple's debut of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is any indication, the company realizes that people hate typing in passwords over and over again. Persistent issues with log-ins are enough to dissuade some users from opening apps, say developers — especially if it isn't obvious that the issue is being worked on proactively.

App developers are more likely to have problems with their apps shortly after the release of a new version of iOS, but in this case, the issue might not lie with their code. It's telling that companies with tens of millions of users are all experiencing the same issue. Sources say that the issue lies in a new iOS 7 API that lets apps fetch data in the background without being open. Mailbox currently believes that "the root cause lies in Apple's new Background Refresh feature." Turning off Background Refresh in Settings has proven to alleviate the log-in issues, but that also means your apps can't check for updates in the background — one of the most important features in iOS 7, since it keeps your apps up to date even when you're not using them.

"Honestly I don't know what the problem is," said one developer readying his app for an upcoming iOS 7 launch, "but it looks like it's Apple." The problem is a frustrating one for developers, who have little choice but to flood Twitter with support tweets, but also for Apple, since many users are blaming the company's new software for their problems.