Published: Sat, February 17, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Indian Text Character Crashes Many iOS and macOS Apps

Indian Text Character Crashes Many iOS and macOS Apps

The bug has been affecting iPhone, iPads, Macs and other devices running iOS 11.2.5, and involves a specific character from the Indian language of Telugu being sent to handsets. The only way to regain access is by waiting for another message to appear, so you can open that one instead and try to delete the thread that contains the infected character.

Trying to open a message with this symbol in iMessage or other apps that rely on Apple's UIKit framework for text rendering, like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and WhatsApp, will cause a crash.

Unfortunately, even after affected users manage to get their device working, the problem will continue every time they reopen the app with the offending message.

Some apps such as Skype and Telegram have been reported to be unaffected by the latest bug.

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The message in question has to contain a single character from the Indian Telugu language (not included here for obvious reasons). "In this case, the entire Springboard will be blocked". As soon as the message is received, Apple's operating system crashes and you have no way of resurrecting your messaging apps. The bug can also be reproduced on macOS High Sierra (version 10.13), along with the new versions of tvOS and watchOS.

Apple promised to address the issue with an update before it rolls out a new version of its iOS this spring.

The Telugu character, which we are not posting as text for obvious reasons. Whenever this symbol is placed into the text space of chat or email apps, the iOS 11 will struggle to render it and apps that try to do so will freeze and shut down.

On an iPhone, the issue is a pain as once you receive a message wth the character, you can not get back into Messages until someone sends you a new message and you open it from the notification. The update also advises developers to ensure their current apps are X-compatible and take advantage of its new features and those in iOS 11.

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