Major new iOS bug can lock you out of messaging apps

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The latest iOS bug can crash iPhones that receive a text message containing an Indian character.
Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

A newly discovered iOS 11 bug lets a text message containing a specific character crash iPhones. It can also block access to Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS and Gmail — in a way that can be challenging to reverse.

The character in question is from the Indian language character set of Telugu. When a message containing the character is received, iOS Springboard crashes and the aforementioned messaging apps will no longer open.

The only way to regain access is to delete the problematic message, which may involve getting a friend to send another message and attempting to delete the entire thread. According to The Verge, the recently released public beta of iOS 11.3 appears to be unaffected, meaning that this fault will be fixed when Apple next pushes out an iOS update.

It just works?

Apple’s run of massive software problems seemingly isn’t going away any time soon. As my colleague Killian Bell documented, Apple has had a rough time when it comes to security problems and buggy software as of late.

One iOS bug prevented users from typing the letter “i”. Another changed the word “it” to “I.T.”

More serious problems have been discovered in Messages for Mac and iOS, in which following a certain URL causes freezes, restarts and even battery problems. You don’t even need to open the link to suffer the problems. Another allowed anyone to circumvent the security of a Mac and log in without the correct password.

Apple frequently responds to these problems rapidly, but the sheer number of them is immensely troubling for a company that’s built its reputation on software that “just works.” A recent report claims that Apple is considering delaying new features for iOS 12 in favor of focusing on addressing performance and quality issues.

Let’s hope Apple deals with this latest fault ASAP!

Source: Mobile World