Apple’s text messaging bug currently crashes iPhones when the handset receives a text with certain characters from Arabic, Chinese and Marathi languages.
The characters are a specific sequence that choke Apple’s core text system, crashing the recipient’s device.
Consequently, the bug also crashes iPhone, iPad, Apple watches and Macs. It has now been discovered that the ‘booby trapped’ message can also be sent over Twitter, either using a direct message or public mention. If the individual receiving the message has notifications turned on, their phone will crash immediately.
The popular application Snapchat has also been affected. When receiving a text chat with the character string, it permanently crashes the phone when the user tries to read it. The message can’t be removed.
Apple has since issued temporary recovery instructions for its message application. This is a simple three step process:
- Ask Siri to ‘read unread messages’
- Use Siri to reply to the message. After it replies you’ll be able to open the messages.
- Swipe left in messages to delete the entire thread or tap messages to delete them.
An additional layer of protection can be utilised by disabling third party application notifications, however, this will not prevent Snapchat from crashing.
Apple plans to fix the current messaging bug as soon as possible.