Rooms v3 crashes periodically on iOS 9

The engineering team is currently investigating an issue with iPads running iOS 9 and Rooms versions 3.0.0 or 3.0.1. In some cases, the app is crashing frequently. iOS devices running iOS 10+, and Android and Chromebase devices are unaffected.

Scope + Impact

Recent performance updates to the Rooms app introduced a memory leak for devices running older versions of iOS. Specifically, this issue has the potential to impact the < 10% of devices running iOS 9, and most acutely impacts devices which aren’t running Guided Access or Single App Mode.

After running for 1-2 days on average, these devices would run out of memory and cause the app to close. Once the app was restarted, the timer would restart. The average device would experience this issue as the device crashing unexpectedly.

What you can do

  • Update your iPads to the latest version of iOS if possible; updating to the latest operating system is always recommended for security and stability.
    • 1st gen iPad Mini and  iPad 2 are capped at iOS 9.3.5 and no longer receive updates from Apple
  • If your device isn’t able to update to iOS 11+, we recommend putting it in Guided Access mode. In most tests this makes the app much more stable.

Status

Engineering is working to identify the cause, and expect to have a resolution early to mid January. The majority of affected devices can use at least one of the mitigation techniques outlined above in the meantime.

Timeline

Robin supports versions all versions of iOS actively supported by Apple, including iOS 9 (through 2018). A fast resolution for this issue is our team’s top priority.

  • Dec 8, 2017: Released a patch for memory issues with Rooms apps running on iOS 10 and iOS 11 devices 
  • Dec 19, 2017: Initial report that devices running iOS 9 and not already in Guided Access mode were crashing, sometimes once or more per day
  • Dec 19, 2017 - Dec 23, 2017: Tests to identify cause of issue. First attempt at a mitigation strategy by reducing device network request frequency to match v2’s approach (every 30 seconds vs. 3 minutes). Released to 10% of devices for observation.
  • Dec 24, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018: Continue memory tests based on data collected from previous deployment and customer feedback. Results remain inconclusive.  
  • Jan 2 - Jan 5 2018: Started contingency tests for backporting Rooms v2 network services into Rooms v3 for iOS 9 devices
  • Jan 4, 2018: Testing timeline published
  • Jan 8 - Jan 12: Complete testing for outstanding patch
  • Jan 12: Released an update to about 10% of devices for monitoring.
  • Jan 16: Results look positive, rollout was increased to 40% of devices for additional monitoring. Continue to investigate any contingencies in the event this doesn't show continued improvement. 
  • Jan 18: Patch released to all devices, which should mitigate crashes. 
  • [Planned] Jan 18 - 24: Monitor release and continue investigate additional improvements.
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