Another messaging crash for iOS devices is making the rounds. This time, it involves the colorful rainbow emoji. The bug affects both iPhones and iPads running iOS 10.1 or below, but a variant of the crash can affect devices running iOS 10.2.
Emoji Rainbow Crash
To summarize, a person includes a text string in an iMessage consisting of a waving white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow emoji and a hidden character called a variant selector. When this message is sent to an iPhone user, it crashes and requires you to reboot the phone.
iOS 10.2 Variant
The variant of the bug that specifically affects devices running iOS 10.2 involve inserting the text string into a contact file, called a vCard. Once your iDevice loads the iMessage, it will then crash. This is the first contact bug to affect iOS. If you remember, we reported on the vincedes3 bug in December that was discovered and later fixed.
Luckily, the fix to this problem is simple. All you have to do is delete the iMessage conversation that contains the booby-trapped message.
Note: Some people have said that their iPhone locks up repeatedly so they can’t delete the conversation. To clear this type of block, try having another person send you an iMessage. You can also create a new message with Siri via the lockscreen.
Updating to iOS 10.2 will protect you against the first variant, but not the second. Apple has yet to comment on the issue, but we will be looking in the upcoming iOS 10.2.1 release for a patch.