This year should have been a great one for Apple. In late 2017, the multinational tech company released its anniversary smartphone, the highly anticipated iPhone X, so critics expected Apple to be reveling in glory all 2018. Instead, the corporation has been combating issues (i.e. calls locking up the touchscreen, disabling users from ending a call) with its latest release.
Now, reports that Apple faces another, broader issue have started to surface.
Calling All Users
Just three months after Apple’s latest drop, the company is facing a major bug capable of completely crashing iPhones. According to the The Verge, “A new bug has been discovered in iOS 11 that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iPhone and block access to the Messages app in iOS and popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail.”
Also affecting macOS versions of Safari and iMessage, the software mishap was reportedly discovered by Mobile World, an Italian blog, and confirmed by several other outlets. Luckily, apps like Telegram and Skype appear to go unaffected, according to the report from The Verge.
The bug itself consists only of an Indian language (Telugu) character. Mobile World blogger Giuseppe Tripodi says that “if received or simply pasted in a text field,” the character will send an iPhone into meltdown mode, disabling iMessage to open as it will continuously try and fail to load the character.
“If the character is displayed within an application, the app in question will crash and will continue to close each time you try to start it,” Tripodi warned. “The situation gets worse if someone sends you the symbol and iOS tries to show it in a notification” because then the whole Springboard will be rendered useless.
Apple was made aware of the situation shortly before Valentine’s Day. The company has released plans to fix the issue in an IOS update before the release of iOS 11.3 this season.
Until then, there seems to be only one fix, should a user find him or herself in this tight spot. “It appears that the only way to regain access to your iMessages is to have another friend send you a message and try to delete the thread that contained the bad character,” The Verge suggests. However, that may prove to be more and more difficult the longer the iPhone glitches. So, users are urged to act quickly.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly pumping the breaks on some new features that were supposed to be included in future iOS updates. To give engineers more time to focus on the company’s looming security faults and reliability issues, some features were pushed back to later dates.
Will this put Apple’s year back on the right track?