iOS 11.2.6 released to fix Telugu ‘text bomb’ bug
A full suite of Apple OS updates fix the text bug that caused Messages and other apps to crash. Leif Johnson reports
Internet trolls had a great time causing Apple products to freeze recently thanks to a bug involving a specific character from India’s Telugu language. Fortunately, the party’s over now, as Apple has released a barrage of updates that patch the issue on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TV boxes.
Take our word for it: update your devices now. You’re most likely to encounter the bug on your iPhone and iPad, so be sure to get the iOS 11.2.6 patch on your device straight away.
Apple has had to deal with some high-profile bugs in the past few months, but this one was particularly nasty. All someone had to do was send a message with the specific character to an app like Messages, and the app would freeze while Apple’s software struggled to interpret the character.
In the cases of Messages, the only way to get rid of it was to have a friend send you a new message. As Mashable discovered, if you happened to see the character on the Twitter app, you had little choice but to go to a non-Apple machine and block all instances of the character on your account from there.
This isn’t the first time Apple has had to deal with such ‘text bomb’ bugs. In January, a developer named Abraham Masri managed to achieve similar effects with a line of script he posted on GitHub (which he later deleted). In 2015, a nonsensical string of Arabic characters also achieved similar notoriety for crashing iPhones. But seldom have such bugs affected such a wide range of Apple’s products.
The news comes only a few days after a report from Bloomberg described how Apple software chief Craig Federighi plans to focus on fewer “big” software updates in favour of a great commitment to iOS stability. If this quick fix serves as any indication, Apple’s taking that commitment seriously. The iOS 11.2.6 update fixes the issue on iPhones and iPads. On other devices, be sure to download macOS 10.13.3 supplemental update, watchOS 4.2.3, and tvOS 11.2.6.