Apple iPhone users can now rest assured that there is a fix for the bug that has caused the devices to crash over the past few days.
A text message containing a specific set of characters caused any iPhone that received it to restart randomly, prevent the user from accessing iMessages and other problems. Anyone who received a text message containing Arabic characters that has noticed these problems with their device will be happy to hear that Apple has released a fix.
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Apple releases temporary fix
On Thursday night Apple moved to assuage the fears of its users over the catastrophic bug. If you have received the message, follow a series of simple steps published on the Apple website.
First off, open the Siri personal assistant, and ask it to “read unread messages.” Now, ask Siri to send a reply to the malicious message. The reply can be anything, a simple “hello” will suffice. Once the reply is sent, users will be able to open Messages once more. Now that access has been restored, delete the entire thread of messages by swiping left. Or alternatively tap and hold the message containing the malicious code, tap More and delete the specific message.
In its Support post Apple promises to release a permanent fix for the bug in its next round of software updates.
Similar bug struck in 2013
It is not the first time that a similar bug has affected the iPhone. In August 2013 a bug in iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 caused apps to crash when they attempted to render a set of Arabic characters. Those hoping for a speedy permanent fix to the problem may be disappointed. Apple only fixed the problem with the release of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 last time around, which may mean that a fix takes several months to appear.
Although some users were sending the text message to their friends as a prank, it was discovered that it could permanently disable Snapchat text chat, and it could also be sent via Twitter. The best way to protect your phone is to turn off notifications. If you receive an iMessage containing the text, follow the steps outlined above to restore your iPhone to normal.