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‘What happens when you break 50 million home screens?’

On the most recent episode of Under the Radar, Widgetsmith developer David Smith had a fascinating story to tell: What happens when you break 50 million home screens?

Under the Radar, hosted by Marco Arment and David, is a Relay FM podcast focused on the various aspects of being an independent app developer. This episode gives an up-close look at the panic that sets in when you realize there’s a showstopping bug in your app.

Essentially, an undocumented change to WidgetKit in iOS 17.1 put a new limit on the size of images that can be shown in a widget. David was made aware of the problem when his daughter noticed that all of her small photo widgets from Widgetsmith were suddenly broken.

According to David, there are something like 50 million small photo widgets on iPhone home screens around the world. That number is absolutely staggering to think about. With a combination of “optimistic power metal” and caffeine, David set out to fix the problem.

I don’t want to give away the whole story, but luckily, it does have a happy ending. You can listen to Under the Radar via your podcast player of choice over on the Relay FM website.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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