×

Apple iOS 11 Bug Can Crash iPhone Messaging Apps, Disable Devices

A newly discovered bug in the current version of Apple’s iOS 11 operating system can disable iPhone messaging and email applications and send smartphones into an endless reboot loop, if a user receives a text with a specific Indian-language character.

Apple devices running iOS 11.2.5, as well as desktops running macOS, Apple Watch and Apple TVs, are susceptible to the bug. The issue occurs if an app receives a character in the Telugu language — cause apps including iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Gmail to crash. At that point, users are unable to relaunch the apps.

The glitch was first reported by Italian tech blog MobileWorld. Apple reps did not respond to a request for more info. A notice on its support site says, “For our customers’ protection, Apple doesn’t disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are available.” [UPDATE, 5 p.m. ET: Apple said it is working on a fix for the versions of iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11 versions affected by the bug.]

Devices running the beta version of iOS 11.3, which Apple is expected to release widely this spring, are not affected by the bug, according to the Mobile World report.

“The character in question can cause serious problems and, in almost all our tests, after the Springboard crash the iPhone went into bootloop and we had to perform a reset from DFU [Device Firmware Upgrade] mode,” the site reported.

One workaround for the bug is for a user to have someone else send a new message and then delete the text that contained the Telugu character, the Verge reported.

Mobile World published an image of the Telugu character that causes the iOS issues (but not the character itself). The Telugu character translates into English as “sign,” according to Google Translate.

Tech blog 9to5Mac noted there have been previous similar cases in which sending a specific message to an iOS device has caused app crashes. In December, Apple released a major iOS update within a few hours of the emergence of a bug in a previous update that began crashing iPhones that had apps set for recurring notifications.

Apple’s installed base of devices surpassed 1.3 billion worldwide in January, CEO Tim Cook said in announcing the tech giant’s most recent quarterly earnings.

More Digital

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content