There is a new iOS bug doing the rounds which can crash or reboot any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch if you send a specific set of unicode text string via SMS or iMessage to the victim’s iOS device. More on how this exactly works is detailed in our earlier post here.
Apple has also issued a statement on the matter:
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.
So while Apple is already aware of this notorious bug and is now confirmed to be working on an official fix via Software Update, those of you already affected by it can use the following workarounds to fix the issue until Apple’s official fix, likely in the form of iOS 8.4, is rolled out. If you are lucky enough to have not been affected by this bug yet, you can also use these workarounds and fixes to prevent the issue from happening.
Ready? let’s go!
Turn off notifications for Messages app to prevent crashes from Lock Screen. To do this, navigate toSettings -> Notifications -> Messages -> Show on Lock Screen -> Off.
Ask the sender to send you a new clean message.
Send yourself a clean message using Siri. To do this, press and hold the Home Button to launch Siri and ask her to “Send a message.”
Send yourself a photo using Share Sheet in Photos app. To do this, launch Photos app, select a photo, tap on Share -> Messages. Now enter your number of iMessage ID to send it to yourself.
Turn off notifications for Messages app on Apple Watch app to prevent crashes on the Apple Watch. To do this, navigate to Apple Watch app -> Notifications -> Messages -> Custom -> Show Alerts -> Off.
Block the repeat offenders. If someone keeps sending you this message again and again, you can simply block the sender. To do this, navigate to Contacts app, open the contact to be blocked, tap‘Block this Caller’.
If you are jailbroken, download this .deb file and install it using iFile on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It is important to note that this jailbreak-specific fix only works on devices running iOS 8.x. Credit for this fix goes to MohammadAG on Reddit.