Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Releases iOS 9.2, OS X 10.11.2, tvOS 9.1, and watchOS 2.1

Some good updates all around: tvOS now supports Siri for controlling Apple Music and the iOS Remote app, and Mac OS X, iOS, and watchOS include lots of bug fixes.

I’d like to draw your attention to one bug in particular that was marked as fixed. In the watchOS 2.1 release notes, Apple says:1

Addresses issues that could prevent third party apps from launching

This isn’t fixed for me; I am unable to launch any third-party native watchOS app from the App Store, and this has affected myself and others since watchOS 2 was released. It’s a bug in the handling of Apple’s FairPlay DRM that’s somewhat similar to the corrupted App Store binaries issue from three years ago.

Here’s what it looks like in the console when I launch a native watchOS 2 app:

Dec  8 22:55:48 Nicks-AppleWatch kernel[0] <Notice>: AppleFairplayTextCrypterSession::fairplayOpen() failed, error -42004
Dec  8 22:55:48 Nicks-AppleWatch gizmoappd[92] <Warning>: plugin com.flexibits.fantastical2.iphone.watchkitapp.ext interrupted
Dec  8 22:55:48 Nicks-AppleWatch com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.flexibits.fantastical2.iphone.watchkitapp.ext[235]) <Warning>: FairPlay decryption failed on binary.

Depending on what the system feels like doing, this either causes an immediate crash of the app, or the loading indicator spins within the app for about a minute before it crashes.

I didn’t notice this while watchOS 2 was in beta because this doesn’t seem to affect apps distributed via TestFlight, nor does it affect WatchKit apps. As more of my favourite apps have been updated to become native, fewer of them remain functional, and it’s driving me crazy.

I filed this as a bug with Apple a couple of months ago. It was marked as a duplicate.

Update: Michael Tsai:

iOS 9.2 unfortunately doesn’t fix the three most annoying iOS 9 issues for me: […]

I could swear this was fixed in one of the 9.2 betas, and then was un-done in the final release.


  1. Release notes for updates must be put together by a bunch of different departments. They use both “fixing” and “fixes” to start sentences, and are inconsistent with the use of a hyphen in the phrase “third party”. ↩︎