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"CHESS APP INADVERTENTLY BROKE MATH LIMITS OF APPLE DEVICES"

By Keith Collins

Two billion, one hundred forty-seven million, four hundred eighty-three thousand, six hundred forty-seven, or 2^31-1. That number meant good news and bad news last weekend for the popular iOS app made by Chess.com. The good news was that it was the number of games users had played on its platform, more than 2.14 billion. The bad news was that the app stopped working for anyone playing on an Apple iPhone or iPad made before mid-2013, because those devices aren’t capable of interpreting such a large integer. When they tried to access a game with an ID higher than that number, the app crashed.

“All of this started happening late on Saturday,” Chess.com CEO Erik Allebest later wrote in a blog post on the site. “Early reports from members were difficult to understand.”

It wasn’t the first time the usage of an app or service outpaced what its developers originally expected. In 2012, Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube video to break 1 billion views. In 2014, it broke 2 billion. The number had grown so large that it was literally about to break the YouTube counter itself. If it exceeded 2,147,483,647 views, the number would be higher than Google’s systems had been setup to store.

Two billion, one hundred forty-seven million, four hundred eighty-three thousand, six hundred forty-seven, or 2^31-1. That number meant good news and bad news last weekend for the popular iOS app made by Chess.com. The good news was that it was the number of games users had played on its platform, more than 2.14 billion. The bad news was that the app stopped working for anyone playing on an Apple iPhone or iPad made before mid-2013, because those devices aren’t capable of interpreting such a large integer. When they tried to access a game with an ID higher than that number, the app crashed.

“All of this started happening late on Saturday,” Chess.com CEO Erik Allebest later wrote in a blog post on the site. “Early reports from members were difficult to understand.”

It wasn’t the first time the usage of an app or service outpaced what its developers originally expected. In 2012, Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube video to break 1 billion views. In 2014, it broke 2 billion. The number had grown so large that it was literally about to break the YouTube counter itself. If it exceeded 2,147,483,647 views, the number would be higher than Google’s systems had been setup to store.

https://qz.com/1005230/chess-coms-ios-app-inadvertently-broke-the-mathematical-limits-of-older-apple-devices/,