The bug with the Indian connect also affects iPads, Apple Watch and Macs running the latest operating systems.
Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, is in the news again and it’s not for a good reason. The company, which suffered a shocking end to 2017, after reports emerged of it slowing old iPhones down is now facing another major software bug which has the potential to bring iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch and Macs around the globe to a grinding halt.
The bug, first reported by Italian Blog Mobile World, impacts Apple apps running on the latest version of iOS 11.2.5 and macOS. According to reports, the effects of this bug range from system crashes to access to apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook, Messenger, and Gmail being lost.
The Telugu ‘text bomb’
The bug causes serious headache when a Unicode character from the Telugu language – native tongue of at least 75 people in the country – is sent to a user’s phone via any of these text messaging or social media apps. The bug then wreaks havoc by sending your Apple device into a deep dark pit of unresponsiveness, apps crashes, and in some cases may even initiate a bootloop as soon as this Telugu character appears on the screen.
The Telugu text bomb, however, is not the only rogue character that can bring your Apple device to its knees. As per software engineers at Aloha Browser there is another Unicode symbol in a non-English language that can crash any Apple device that uses Apple’s default San Francisco font.
What is the bug?
The latest text bomb fiasco is not the first time that Apple created OS have not been able to handle Unicode characters, URLs or videos. Earlier in January, an iOS glitch was discovered that allowed a specific URL to crash any iPhone it was texted to, while in 2015 a so-called “Unicode of Death” became famous overnight after news emerged of it overloading an iPhone’s memory using some Arabic characters.
As was in the case of Unicode of death, the Telugu text bomb when sent to an Apple device causes a malfunction in the CoreText, which is a library of software routines to help apps display text on screens.
The malfunction then causes CoreText to access memory that is invalid, which forces the operating system to force shut down any affected application or even the SpringBoard – a core part of the iOS – if the character finds its way to the notifications screen.
This Telugu character (ఞ) is a “text bomb” that is crashing messaging and email apps on Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watch and Apple TV.
What’s the fix?
For now, there is very little that users affected by this problem can do. Many users across the web have suggested that the only way to access affected apps again is to carry out a complete clean install of an application, or in case of iMessage somehow delete the whole chat thread.
However, for users who have had their SpringBoard affected, the only option is to reinstall the OS on their devices via the DFU mode.
What does Apple have to say?
Apple has acknowledged the issue and said it is working on a fix for the latest text bomb bug. The tech giant has confirmed that the bug only affects devices running iOS 11.2.5, and that the issue will be fixed with iOS 11.3. However, since this one is a major update intended to bring over several new features, including a new battery health menu that prevents iPhone speed throttling, the update won’t make its way to the users for some time.
But, for those who want immediate protection, there’s a public beta of the 11.3 already available that users can install to save themselves from the Telegu text bomb. #KhabarLive