Update x1: Most of the Apple iOS apps have gone missing after upgrading to iOS 8. Several Apple users have confirmed this bug does exist (see comments).
Sometimes exploring iOS 8 feels like entering a cave in the middle of the night — you just don’t know what to expect. We didn’t expect that apps could disappear from our Apple iPhone but it just did. And guess what? We are not alone. Many users have complained about this mysterious “missing app” bug that is visible (or should we say invisible?) after upgrading to iOS 8 firmware.
Apps Gone Missing From Homescreen
You can install any number of apps and games on your device and all of them can be accessed from your homescreen. Swipe left or right, put apps in a new folder, temporarily hide them or send them somewhere in the dark corners — you can still find them via Spotlight search.
In this mysterious case, even Spotlight failed to find the app.
What Really Happened?
We updated Find my Friends to its latest version. The update, if we think about it, went smoothly. We only had to go to App Store and hit the “Update” button. We explored its new features, wrote about it, and all of a sudden it went missing the next day.
There was no app. No icon. Nothing.
It just escaped from Apple’s closed ecosystem. And that is when we decided to use App Store to see if the app was actually uninstalled accidentally. You know what? It was right there, with the button “Open” (meaning that the installation was successful). Relieved? Well, not really because I finally…
Pressed “Open” in The App Store… And The App Didn’t Launch
App Store just didn’t do anything. Really: What could possibly go wrong in opening an iOS app that was installed recently? But wait. The dramatic journey didn’t end here. Spotlight, which can search even text messages, couldn’t find the app.
Either I screwed up somewhere, or the Find My Friend app just stopped working. Probably it went for a walk? Silly me.
And so, I asked my writer to see if he was able to recreate the problem. He installed Find My Friends update on his iOS 8 device and reported that the app did not disappear. The icon was right there, sitting on the homescreen of his Apple iPhone 5s.
Let’s Blame The App
Just when I thought this bug must be related to Find My Friends, Willie commented on our WhatsApp post. He wrote: “My Whatsapp was deleted off my phone with the new 2.11.11 update. Even the “open” in App Store still does not open the app… gone!”
Deleted? We are sure he meant the app vanished from the device. Not only did WhatsApp disappear but also Facebook app icon went missing. Brian says: “Came here looking for a solution. I can’t find Facebook app and WhatsApp app on my device.”
Icons and apps go missing all the time on jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, but this was a very unusual case as iOS 8 doesn’t have a jailbreak yet.
Reinstalling App Doesn’t Help But Resetting iPhone Did
Installing the app again was the first step to see if we can get back the missing icon back on our Apple iPhone. Unfortunately, even multiple uninstalls and re-installs did not help.
Our next option was to downgrade the firmware, and go back to iOS 7.1.2, but that’s just too extreme.
What really bought the apps back? It was hard resetting the device that fixed the problem.
Final Thoughts: Fix This Problem, Apple!
Right now, we are waiting for others to verify this bug is, indeed, related to iOS 8 firmware. Willie’s and Brian’s comment is a proof that something is wrong. We have read that icons disappear again and re-appear when you hard reset, so this is not a permanent solution.
If are you facing similar issues, please let us know by dropping a comment. We hope that Apple is going to fix this problem in the next iOS 8 update.