Facebook SDK bug causing crashes on popular iOS apps, here’s a workaround

An open-source privacy app called 'Lockdown Apps' can help prevent the crashing

A bug with Facebook’s iOS software development kit (SDK) is causing crashes on several popular iPhone apps like Spotify, Pinterest and Tinder. Thankfully there’s simple fix until the glitch gets sorted out.

Unfortunately, you don’t even need the Facebook app installed to fall victim to the bug. Many developers leverage the Facebook SDK to support features like logging in through Facebook within their apps. Because of this, it seems many apps that rely on the SDK are having issues.

The Verge reports that this is the second time an issue like this has happened in the last few months. Thankfully, the publication also has a workaround for those impacted: Lockdown Apps.

Lockdown Apps is a firewall and privacy protection app on iOS that uses a VPN to block trackers. It also prevents Facebook’s iOS SDK from loading in third-party apps. If you run Lockdown Apps during a Facebook SDK outage like this, Spotify, Tinder, and other impacted apps will work.

Plus, Lockdown Apps is free to use. You can download it from the App Store, launch it and follow the on-screen tutorial. The Verge notes that it does ask you to sign up or log in, but you can just hit cancel to bypass this step.

Then, tap the ‘firewall on’ button at the top of the app and follow the steps to enable the VPN profile on your iPhone. Once set up, you can toggle the firewall on from within the app.

Finally, when the Facebook SDK issue gets resolved, and things start working normally again, you can delete Lockdown Apps. Doing so will also remove the VPN profile.

Lockdown Apps sounds like an excellent temporary workaround. However, I can’t speak to the privacy or security implications of the app. Because it sets up a VPN, all internet communications from your iPhone will pass through the firewall, which could be problematic. Lockdown Apps does list on the App Store that it’s open-source, which brings some peace of mind since it means anyone can look at the code and verify what the app is and isn’t doing.

If you’re curious, Lockdown Apps includes more information about privacy on its website.

Source: The Verge