Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,060
13,670



A recently discovered bug that causes app and system crashing on iPhone, iPad, and Mac due to a specific letter in the Indian language Telugu has been fixed in Apple's upcoming iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 software updates.

telugu-bug-800x673.jpg

MacRumors has not been able to reproduce any crashes, freezes, or resprings on any devices running the latest iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 betas when the particular letter is present anywhere across the systems, as the upcoming software versions can now display the affected character properly.

On earlier software versions, including the latest publicly released versions iOS 11.2.5 and macOS 10.13.3, it appears that Apple devices are unable to render the Indian character for some reason, causing apps or the entire system to abruptly crash depending on where it is trying to be displayed.

If the character is sent in an iMessage, for example, the recipient's Messages app will crash when the conversation is opened. Likewise, if the character is pasted into the Safari or Chrome address bar on Mac, the browsers crash. This behavior extends to virtually any system text field on iOS and macOS, resulting in many third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger being affected as well.

Even worse, some users have found that if the character is displayed in an iOS notification, it can cause an entire iPhone or iPad to respring, and in worst-case scenarios, restoring in DFU mode is the only possible solution.

If you've already received the letter and can no longer open Messages, try having a friend message you, which may allow you to regain access to the app and delete the conversation with the bad character. If not, consider enrolling in Apple's free public beta program and upgrade to iOS 11.3 or macOS 10.13.4 beta.

MacRumors was alerted about this bug by developer Peter Steinberger on Monday, and it was submitted to Open Radar by developer Igor Bulyga on the same day. We elected not to report on the bug at the time to avoid contributing to its spread, since it can be used maliciously and a fix will be widely available soon.

The bug has received widespread attention today, so we wanted to acknowledge that Apple is aware of the issue and has implemented a fix. iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 should be publicly released by the end of March, but it's very possible we'll see minor updates pushed out with fixes in the near term.

These kinds of bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app and causing other glitches. Just last month, a link to a GitHub page surfaced that froze the Messages app when received.

Article Link: Indian Character Bug Causing System Crashes is Fixed in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4
 

brock2621

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2007
1,005
515
Kentucky
Such a weird bug...

I'm not an apologist but how do you find these types of bugs? Would you have some massive server grade computer randomly send every single variation of characters in all languages all day long? It would be infinite right? You would have to type every word in every language and then start crossing over different alphabets in combination with each other?

Did bugs like this exist with iPhone (2g), the hailed "less sloppy" days of Apple?
 
Last edited:
Comment

tnesmith

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2016
18
11
Greater Seattle area
"Even worse, some users have found that if the character is displayed in an iOS notification, it can cause an entire iPhone or iPad to respring..." - from the article

Respring??? I didn't know iOS devices had springs. I have never witnessed any device from any company "respring"... wait a sec... I take it back. I had a slinky when I was a kid. It sprung all the time.
 
Comment

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68030
Feb 11, 2007
2,538
3,779
You're obviously not a programmer nor have any experience with it.

Thankfully I am not, but I do have experience in programming. One wonders why they didnt have some sort of catch all error handling for an unknown character entry.
[doublepost=1518709474][/doublepost]
Pretty bold statement from someone who clearly has zero experience actually programming.

Man, you kids.

see above
[doublepost=1518709551][/doublepost]
He didnt say he was a programmer. Nor is he working for a 900 billion dollar company that deals with millions of people publicly. You don’t need to be a programmer to realize Apple’s QC department has been lacking recently.

Yep, exactly. Thanks for your support :)

The folks who give Apple a pass are so numerous in this web site, as well as the tons of "face ID sucks" from the same posters who dont actually own an iPhone X.
 
Comment

Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,917
5,315
UK
"Even worse, some users have found that if the character is displayed in an iOS notification, it can cause an entire iPhone or iPad to respring..." - from the article

Respring??? I didn't know iOS devices had springs. I have never witnessed any device from any company "respring"... wait a sec... I take it back. I had a slinky when I was a kid. It sprung all the time.
Haha, the Home Screen is run by a process called SpringBoard and when it crashes and relaunches people tend to call it a 'respring'.
 
Comment

netwalker

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2007
209
209
Such a weird bug...

I'm not an apologist but how do you find these types of bugs? Would you have some super computer randomly send every single variation of characters in all languages all day long? It would be infinite right? You would have to type ever word in every language and then start crossing over different alphabets in combination with each other?

Did bugs like this exist with iPhone (2g), the hailed "less sloppy" days of Apple?

According to the article it is about one character, not a certain combination of characters. Unicode 11 has over 136,000 possible characters. Doesn't sounds impossible to test at least the display of each character automatically. But without knowing more details about the exact cause of this bug and the test system they have, it is pure speculation if and how this could be prevented.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tf_dc
Comment

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Reminds me of non-engineering employees in my company that think I program by dragging icons around. When I show them the C code I write their jaws drop to the ground.

"Oh you're a programmer? Can you program my print drivers to work." Never tell anyone you're a programmer. They'll ask you to solve all their computer problems.
 
Comment

Baymowe335

Suspended
Oct 6, 2017
6,640
12,450
Would it really be that hard to have an automated QA system that rapidly simulates typing every system character to check for bugs? This must be the fifth or sixth time a bug like this has affected iOS.
You don't have much experience programming, do you?

Not saying some like this isn't possible, but it's likely already being done and more complicating factors arise. Errors like these are not always *ONE* character as the culprit. Can you try to think about how many combinations you can make with every character in every language?

Think about just how many words exist in the English language, plus all the non words people could type in error or just because they can. Now multiple that times every language. The number is bigger than the number of particles in the universe.
 
Comment

Baymowe335

Suspended
Oct 6, 2017
6,640
12,450
He didnt say he was a programmer. Nor is he working for a 900 billion dollar company that deals with millions of people publicly. You don’t need to be a programmer to realize Apple’s QC department has been lacking recently.
Again, fundamental misunderstanding, oversimplification, and a complete overreaction to the issue.
 
Comment

lazard

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,608
818
Such a weird bug...

I'm not an apologist but how do you find these types of bugs? Would you have some super computer randomly send every single variation of characters in all languages all day long? It would be infinite right? You would have to type ever word in every language and then start crossing over different alphabets in combination with each other?

Did bugs like this exist with iPhone (2g), the hailed "less sloppy" days of Apple?

It's a letter in the Telegu alphabet, of which 75 million people in India use.
 
Comment

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68030
Feb 11, 2007
2,538
3,779
You don't have much experience programming, do you?

Not saying some like this isn't possible, but it's likely already being done and more complicating factors arise. Errors like these are not always *ONE* character as the culprit. Can you try to think about how many combinations you can make with every character in every language?

Think about just how many words exist in the English language, plus all the non words people could type in error or just because they can. Now multiple that times every language. The number is bigger than the number of particles in the universe.

Why can't one mitigate this with catch-all error handling or multiple catch-all error handling (simple description I realize)?
 
Comment

Sefstah

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2015
589
1,066
Again, fundamental misunderstanding, oversimplification, and a complete overreaction to the issue.
Ok, so just tell the millions Indian speaking users of iOS, not to use the certain character(#You’reTextingWrong).
You’re obviously not a business owner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: David G.
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.