What to do when some part your app breaks, or starts behaving differently?

Has some element of your app stopped working in the way that you expect? Do you have some functionality that worked fine yesterday, but suddenly doesn’t work today, despite you making no changes to your app?

If that’s the case, it’s possible that a Power Apps update has broken your app. Like all software, this is something that can happen occasionally.

Power Apps receives frequent updates, and we can see the release history through the following page.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/released-versions/powerapps


Example of a problem

To give an example, earlier this month (January 2021), an update to Power Apps resulted in a problem that affected mostly European users. The this was a localisation bug, and caused input/output numeric/date values to be rendered in US format, rather than the regional format.

How to resolve this type of problem

If a Power Apps update is the cause of your problem, a potential fix is to change the authoring version of the affected app.

We can do this in the app designer by clicking Account, and clicking the link to ‘change authoring version’. This opens the following dialog to change the authoring version.
 
But what exactly is an authoring version? We can think of this as the version of the designer/editor that we’re using.
When we select an earlier authoring version and click ‘Reload + apply version’, Power Apps will re-save our app in the earlier version.

If the newly released version of Power Apps introduces bugs or some behaviour that works differently, we can try to roll back to an earlier version to restore an app to the way that it behaved previously.

Where else is the authoring version useful?

The other important part to this is that each environment is set up to be compatible with a target version of Power Apps. Microsoft deploy Power Apps to different regions at different times.

Therefore, another issue that some app builders encounter is that if they build an app in a preview environment (or for example, a US environment) and attempt to export that to a different tenant/environment (say in Europe) with a lower environment version, the app can fail to import, or the editor will display an error when we attempt to open the file. The error message contain an error along the lines of - “This app cannot be edited with this version of Power Apps.”

To resolve this problem, we can modify our source target app to use the lower Power Apps version that is supported by the target environment.

Antother way to open Power Apps Studio in an earlier version

Another way to open Power Apps Studio in an earlier version is to append the version number to the URL. 

For example, here's a link to open Power Apps Studio in the authoring version v3.20122.

To open Power Apps Studio in an earlier version, we can change the format to specifiy the earlier version. Here are the links to open Power Apps Studio in versions v3.20114 and v3.20113.

Conclusion

In situations where an update causes an app to break or work differently, a possible fix is to roll back the app back to an earlier version.