Jessica Booth
February 15, 2018 2:31 pm

There’s a new and frustrating iOS bug that is causing Apple devices to crash and apps to be disabled — and it definitely isn’t one you want to mess with. If you have the iOS bug, a specific character from the Indian language Telugu can crash your device and block access to apps like iMessages and Gmail. Many Apple users are wondering if this is something that will happen on all devices or just some. Do you have the iOS bug? You might want to figure it out before opening the wrong message.

The bug is pretty simple: When someone sends or receives the Telugu character, Apple’s iOS Springboard (the system that manages the device’s home screen) crashes. Messages will no longer open, and other apps can be affected as well, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, and Outlook for iOS.

How do you know if it will happen to you? If you have an Apple iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, there’s a good chance it could. It’s been tested by a few different outlets, and it seems like the bug is running on iOS 11.2.5 and/or macOS. You can check what version you have by going to Settings, then General, then Software Update. If you have no updates available, you’ll see what software you’re running on. If one is available, see what number it is.

If it’s offering to update you to 11.2.5, you might want to skip that for now.

The only real way to find out if you have the bug, though, is to get someone to send you the Telugu character. If you have the bug, your phone will crash once it receives the character…and then you’ll know! But really, why risk it? If you’re on version 11.2.5, chances are good that it could happen to you.

Luckily, there’s a way to regain access to your iMessages app if it crashes. The Verge suggests having another friend send you a text so you can get into the app, then deleting the entire conversation that contains the character. It also appears that Apple is already on top of this issue — they plan on fixing the bug in the release of iOS 11.3 this spring.

Let’s hope this one gets fixed sooner rather than later.

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