Has your iPhone been freezing without a reason when receiving texts? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one – and it probably means someone is playing a prank on you.
YouTuber EverythingApplePro has stumbled upon a peculiar new bug in iOS 10 that allows pranksters to crash any iPhone and iPad by simply sending a short text message containing a flag and a rainbow emoji.
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The glitch works in two different ways, both of which will freeze your device in varying degrees.
The first method involves a text string that contains a white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow emoji as well as a hidden character called a variation selector, which can then be copied into iMessage and sent to anyone. The second way is to deliver the same faulty text string by embedding it within a contact’s card and using iCloud drive to share it via iMessage.
Although the former approach seems to affect only devices running iOS 10.1 and below, the latter method will crash all reiterations of iOS 10, including the latest version 10.2
The bug was initially discovered by French iOS developer Vincent Desmurs, who suggests in his blog that Apple’s handling of the variation selector is to blame for the issue. As the coder explains, the buggy message tells your device to combine the white flag and the rainbow into a rainbow flag, but iOS ultimately crashes when it fails to process the request.
While Apple will likely release a fix in the coming few days, Desmurs has posted some tips on how to deal with the flaw for users experiencing continuous issues with their phones after receiving the text.
For devices (including iPad) where the fix link does not work, ask Siri to send a message to the victim and click on the text. pic.twitter.com/3id4Y8Lhkn
— vincedes3 (@vincedes3) December 29, 2016
— Luca Marzano (@marzanoluca93) December 30, 2016
This isn’t the first time Apple has struggled with such glitches. Not too long ago, EverythignApplePro came across a similar bug in iOS that could freeze any iPhone and iPad by sending a short three-second video.
Watch the full clip in the video section above to find out how the faulty text works. Just show some moderation and don’t send it to everyone you know – save it for your best friends.