On Wednesday, news broke of a nasty bug that crashes iPhones with a single text. Upon receiving a certain string of characters, people's smartphones would freeze or reboot.
Now it looks as if it's not just the iPhone that is affected. Tests run by Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian found that the bug could also be replicated on Macs, iPads, and Apple Watches — meaning it's possible to crash almost any modern Apple device by sending a single message.
When we tested the bug on the iPhone on Wednesday, it didn't work every time. But at one point it did crash a colleague's iPhone, rebooting the device and leaving the person unable to open the Messages app.
The devices have trouble rendering the specific unicode characters in the string — slowing or even freezing them entirely and forcing them to reboot.Here's a video of an Apple Watch rebooting after receiving the message: And here's the text that is causing the bug: The problem is being widely discussed on social media, with comments suggesting that many people are using the text as a prank to switch off friends' phones:
As 9to5Mac notes, this isn't the first time this has happened. In 2013, the tech blog reported on how certain Arabic characters could cause issues in both iOS 6 and OS X 10.8.
If you've been affected, Forbes has a suggestion on how to fix the issue and let you reopen Messages: Either "have the person who pranked you send another message," or "send yourself a message through Siri or your Mac."
On Wednesday, an Apple representative provided Business Insider with the following statement: "We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters, and we will make a fix available in a software update."
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