A new so-called “text bomb” – a string of text – involving the Italian flag emoji along with characters in the Sindhi language are crashing iOS or iPadOS devices if received as a text message, according to a report from MacRumors.
The character-linked bug, when received as a text message, is crashing almost all devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch) running Apple’s latest publicly available iOS 13.4.1 software update.
The bug is apparently exploiting the vulnerability in the message notifications on the phone, which means it doesn’t display a notification about the new message.
In some cases, the device crashes, while other times it simply forces the Messages app to crash and re-open.
According to information shared on Reddit, the bug first started circulating on Telegram but was later shared on other platforms such as Twitter, WhatsApp, as well as iMessage.
Twitter user EverythingApplePro posted a video on Twitter to demonstrate that the iPhone malfunctions even after receiving the text with a variety of different characters.
The craziest iOS crash text bug ? pic.twitter.com/29LJPb67WP
— EverythingApplePro (@EveryApplePro) April 23, 2020
Apple is yet to comment on the problem. However, the issue does appear to be fixed in the latest iOS 13.4.5 beta. We can expect Apple to roll it soon for everyone.
Meanwhile, we recommend users to temporarily turn off notifications on iOS or iPadOS devices until Apple releases software update with a fix for the character bug.
This isn’t the first time that Apple products have been affected by a character bug. In 2018, a similar bug involving a character in the Telugu language was discovered that would crash iPhones running iOS 11.2.5 whenever they received an iMessage. Apple had released an update four days later to fix this bug.