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Major new iOS bug can lock you out of messaging apps

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Cult of Mac's buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.
Cult of Mac’s buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.

Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

Apple’s run of massive software problems seemingly isn’t going away any time soon. A new bug, discovered in iOS 11, allows people to send a specific character that will crash iPhones and block access to Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail — in a way that can be challenging to reverse.

The character in question is in the Indian language character set of Telugu. When a message containing the character is received, iOS Springboard crashes and the aforementioned messaging apps will no longer open.

The only way to regain access is seemingly to delete the problematic message, which may involve getting a friend to send another message and attempt to delete the entire thread. According to The Verge, the recently released public beta of iOS 11.3 appears to be unaffected, meaning that this fault will be fixed when Apple next pushes out an iOS update.

It just works?

As my colleague Killian Bell has documented, Apple has had a rough time when it comes to security problems and buggy software as of late. One prevented users from typing the letter “i,” while another meant that iOS 11 changed the word “it” to “I.T.”

More serious problems have been discovered in Messages for Mac and iOS, in which following a certain URL causes freezes, restarts, and even battery issues. You don’t even have to open the link to suffer the problems. Another allowed anyone to circumvent the security of a Mac and log in without the correct password.

Apple frequently responds to these problems rapidly, but the sheer number of them is immensely troubling for a company that’s built its reputation on software that “just works.” A recent report claims that Apple is considering delaying new features for iOS 12 in favor of focusing on addressing performance and quality issues.

Let’s hope Apple deals with this latest fault ASAP!

Source: Mobile World



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