Apple's Fix for the Messages Text String Crash

The Internet has been in a tizzy this week over the iOS 8 bug that lets someone crash your iPhone with a text message. Apple has acknowledged the problem and even has a fix for the issue. Sort of.

Apple offers workaround for Messages bug until a real fix is readyApple offers workaround for Messages bug until a real fix is ready

Apple confirmed it knows about the problem in a knowledge base article saying, "Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update."

The bug makes your iPhone crash and quickly reboot when a specific string of Unicode characters is sent as a text message, then displays as a notification on your iPhone. Messages will crash, too, if you open the chat with the offending message. It looks like the issue stems from the way iOS 8 handles certain Unicode characters, and when the right mix is displayed, your iPhone can crash.

Apple's fix for the problem involves putting Siri to work:

  • Ask Siri to "read unread messages."
  • Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again.
  • In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.

That's more of a workaround instead of a fix, and Apple says as much in its KB article. A real fix is in the works, and Apple says it'll be available in a future software update.