Imagine that without any misguided action or behavior of your own your iOS device were to crash, simply as the result of receiving a text string via your iPhone or iPad's Messages app. Next, imagine that after this "What the heck!??!!" event (and device reboot, of course) you subsequently could not even open the Messages program.
Imagine no longer. A new bug has been revealed in Apple's Messages app that will crash your device and render Messages mostly unusable upon receipt of a text containing a unique text string comprised of various symbols and Arabic characters. And the bug isn't confined to receipt from other iOS devices either, displaying the same behavior regardless of whether the character string received is an iMessage or SMS, meaning that pretty much anyone with a cellphone can distribute with intent to crash.
The iPhone or iPad receiving the text string in Messages causes a respring, which results in an immediate crash and reboot of the device. Thereafter, if the Messages app was opened at a List view it will automatically crash each time the user tries to open it, and if the Messages app was opened at the specific receiving conversation it will open but then crash when the user attempts to enter another conversation.
Kids, don't try this at home.
A number of solutions to the issue are already making the rounds, and include (but may not be limited to) the following:
- Sending a reply to the person who sent the nefarious message and getting them to reply back (works only if the Messages app opens to the conversation with the sender).
- Arranging to have a real friend send a new text for receipt in Messages.
- Using the Share option in another app, one such as Notes, to send an iMessage to self.