Apple to Fix Telugu Character Bug Causing Devices to Crash in Minor iOS Update

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has confirmed that a fix for a recently discovered bug that causes apps like Messages to crash on iPhone, iPad, and Mac has been included in iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4, watchOS 4.3, and tvOS 11.3, updates that are currently being beta tested ahead of a release this spring.

    Furthermore, Apple told iMore's Rene Ritchie that the bug will also be addressed in an upcoming iOS update that will be released in the near future, ahead of iOS 11.3, so customers won't need to wait several weeks for a fix. Minor updates for other operating systems will likely come at the same time.


    The bug, induced by sending a specific character in the Indian language Telugu, causes certain apps on iPhones, iPads, and Macs to freeze up and become unresponsive. Messages, Safari, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps that accept text input are all affected.

    When the character is sent in an iMessage, for example, 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, resulting in a re-spring or worse.

    Apple users who have received a message with the character will, as mentioned above, need to delete the Messages conversation with the person who sent the character. Alternatively, installing the iOS 11.3 or macOS 10.13.4 betas will fix the problem.

    Article Link: Apple to Fix Telugu Character Bug Causing Devices to Crash in Minor iOS Update
  2. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    This seems like a recurring semi-weekly occurrence. Maybe it's time to dump Messages and rewrite it from scratch with safe coding practices.
  3. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    It's not just Messages, it's an OS-level problem. Tweetbot also crashes if a tweet containing that "character" appears in the timeline.
  4. justiny Contributor


    Jul 28, 2008
    Fairfield, NJ
    What nose-picker adult living in their mom’s basement discover this bug?
  5. agsystems macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2013
    Agreed...but if you think about it - having a free form platform like Messages that needs to accept anything (i.e., characters, numbers, binary, picture, video, emoji, etc) must be hunting task to completely secured.
  6. ghostface147 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
  7. lkrupp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2004
    Actually it was discovered by an Italian developer. There have to be at least a couple of million Indians using iOS by now. Why didn’t they scream bloody murder immediately?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 15, 2018 ---
    Maybe time for you to switch platforms and be happy. But then there’s the serious Skype bug that Microsoft says is too much trouble to fix right now, and all the Android flaws that will never be patched because the carriers don’t care.
  8. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    As I said in the last article concerning this bug "non issue"

    And as for this article on this issue, why not update the last article instead of another one a few hours later, if we create another thread on an issue it gets merged with the other one, so merge this into the last one.
  9. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    It wouldn’t surprise me if this is, at root, a UTF bug. Dealing with variable-byte-length UTF characters can be a pain in the keister (I’ve had to deal with that sort of thing in older MySQL databases lately).
  10. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    This wasn't a single character as you can see in the above picture, it's followed by another character, that single character won't do any harm, together with another 1 (or more) it does.
  11. crushna macrumors newbie


    Oct 26, 2015
    This character/alphabet/word from my mother tongue is very very rarely used in a general conversation. Its is both hard to pronounce and also write . I am very surprised to actually somebody using this particular alphabet and found it to break the code. It must be someone who know the code
  12. sdf macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2004
    Doesn't sound like it's a Messages bug, but something in iOS's text rendering. Should be easy for them to add some fuzzed automated testing for problems this. Might not catch everything, but would be better.
  13. brian3uk macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2016
    Yeah installing the 11.3 beta isn't really a good solution. Messages crashes constantly for me ever since I tried to enable icloud for messages. yuck. Had to roll back and now my watch wont pair since its 4.3. ahhh betas.
  14. daveak macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2009
    Durham, UK
    So this isn't the first time a unicode problem has caused crashes. What is going on at Apple? After the first time you write a test which walks through every single character and tries to display it. Test fails when it crashes. Run test. Fix all crashes, problems solved. Why haven't they done this? Creating the test is 5 minutes work (admittedly the fixes won't be)
  15. zokstar macrumors member


    Aug 15, 2016
    Does anyone have/know a work around for this? Its ****ed my messages so hard! I cannot delete or go back to the main message screen :(
  16. nt5672 macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    But there is no time for this, when everyone has been assigned to the next big thing. Which we probably don't need anyway! But you can't have a keynote without the next big thing! What Cook wants he gets.
  17. I7guy macrumors G5

    Nov 30, 2013
    Looking at Central Park@550 feet
    Apple has to dump the emoji dept./s
  18. frumpy16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2008
    It's in the article.
  19. udayan81 macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2017
    All the Telegu people with an iPhone must have been crashing their phone non-stop :p
  20. falainber macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2016
    Wild West
    Something is not right here. Why is the character an integral part of the OS that requires OS update? Can they be treated as some app or a collateral data or something with their own versioning and update mechanism?
  21. Superhai macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
    It is not a single character, but combination creating "jñā".
  22. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    So how many stupid people are intentionally sending this now? :rolleyes:
  23. Bacillus macrumors 68000


    Jun 25, 2009
    This has enough conformance with Eddy's vocabulary snafu after some late dinner to have been anticipated by now
  24. Superhai macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
    In that case I would be more impressed with Eddy, as it is sanskrit for "to know".
  25. sdf macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2004
    I'm not sure about this bug, but these crashes are very often caused by sequences of Unicode characters not a single character. The latest spec is 136,755 characters. So assume a test sequence length of 3: 2,557,582,440,568,875 combinations.

    Brute force can't fix everything.

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