Single-Character Bug Crashes iPhones, Apple Promises Fix

Update 7:24 AM ET: This article has been updated per reports that Apple is promising a fix soon.

Apple's iOS woes continue. And now there's a new problem that's wreaking havoc on iOS 11.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A new bug affecting iOS 11 has been discovered that will crash your iPhone and not allow you to access a range of messaging and e-mail apps, including Apple's Messages, WhatsApp, and Gmail, among others, according to Italian blog Mobile World, which earlier reported on the bug.

The flaw appears to occur when someone sends an Indian language character to affected iPhones, according to The Verge, which also reported on the bug. As soon as the message is received, Apple's operating system crashes and you have no way of resurrecting your messaging apps. According to the report, you're only able to regain access to Messages when the person who sent you the character deletes it from your conversation.

That, of course, could prove to be a problem. If the person sent you the character not as a joke but in an attempt to cause your iPhone harm, chances are, you're not going to be able to coax them into letting you regain access to your Messages.

Interestingly, the bug only appears to affect iOS 11.2.5. The Verge tried it on the public beta version of iOS 11.3 and found that the character doesn't cause any problem on that version. Apple told The Verge that it will release an iOS update prior to version 11.3 (likely 11.2.6) to address the issue soon.

MORE: 28 Hidden iOS 11 Features

The bug is the latest in a string of troubles Apple has faced in recent months as it tries to improve the stability of its mobile operating system. Back in November, for instance, Apple's iOS 11 was affected by a bug that would convert the letter "i" into a string of text that looks like "A[?]." Last month, users discovered that when a single link would be sent over Messages to users, it would crash Apple's handset. Another bug in December could cause iPhones to crash.

Apple's Messages app, alone, has had a long history of problems. In 2015, for instance, a single text message could be sent to iPhone owners and wreak havoc on the handset. Another similar flaw was discovered in 2016 that would disable Messages.

For its part, Apple has fixed many of these problesm. However, reports have surfaced of late that suggest Apple is concerned about the number of issues affecting iOS. And in January, the company's software chief Craig Federighi reportedly told his team that some new features planned for iOS 12 would be delayed to next year. Instead, Apple's software this year will likely focus on stability and performance, according to Bloomberg.

Now that there's been reports of yet another iOS flaw, that might be a good thing.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.