SAN FRANCISCO: Apple has released a new iOS 11.2.6 update that includes a fix for the bug that is causing iPhones and apps like Facebook and WhatsApp to crash when a Telugu single character is received via iMessage.

The bug was discovered last week and involves sending the character in Telugu to devices that crashes an iPhone and makes apps like Messages, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp inaccessible.The bug also affects Safari and the built-in Messages app on macOS and the Apple Watch.

How Telugu iOS bug worked

When the Telugu character is sent in an iMessage, it can freeze up the entire Messages app on all of a person’s Mac and iOS devices.

The Messages app will then refuse to function properly until the offending character is removed by deleting the conversation with the person who sent it.

In some situations, if the character is viewed through an iOS notification, it can cause the entire device to crash.

iOS bug turns into prank

Shortly after the bug was discovered, some users started to send out tweets featuring the Telugu characters in an attempt to crash others’ iPhones.

Some even inserted the buggy character into their Twitter names. Mashable notes that the tweets caused Twitter apps to crash for several iPhone users.

The bug fix and iOS 11.3

“Apple released updates for watchOS, tvOS, and macOS to stop the crash from happening on those platforms, too,” The Verge reported on Tuesday.

Apart from the Telugu character bug fix, the latest iOS update also features a fix for an issue where some third-party applications could fail to connect to external accessories.

In Messages, for example, receiving the character can freeze up the entire Messages app on all of a person’s Mac and iOS devices. The Messages app then refuses to function properly until the offending character is removed by deleting the conversation with the person who sent it. Apple’s release notes are below:

iOS 11.2.6 includes bug fixes for your iPhone or iPad. This update:

Fixes an issue where using certain character sequences could cause apps to crash

Fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories

Apple fixed the bug in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4, but those updates are still in beta testing and won’t be released until the spring. Apple last week promised a minor update to fix the bug in the meantime.

While iOS 11.2.6 is a minor yet important update, Apple is gearing up for a major software roll-out next month.

Apple announced last month that the upcoming Apple iOS 11.3 update will offer features that gives users power to control their batteries, Augmented Reality (AR) upgrade and Animoji.

“This spring, iOS 11.3 will deliver exciting new ways to experience Augmented Reality on iPhone and iPad, new Animoji on iPhone X and the ability to view health records in the Health app,” Apple had said earlier.

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