Has your iPhone been hanging without a reason when receiving texts? Don’t worry, and it probably means someone is playing a prank on you. The latest is a bug in iMessage that allows any iPhone running iOS 10 to iOS 10.1.1 to be crashed with a simple text message. This may sound familiar; we’ve seen numerous glitches like this before. But the latest could be the simplest and most frustrating yet, because a text message with just three characters.
YouTube channel EverythingApplePro highlights a sequence of characters that temporarily freeze an iPhone, which you can send to someone to put their kibosh on their phone. Here’s how it works: a white flag emoji, the digit “0” and a rainbow emoji confuse iOS 10 when it tries to combine them into a rainbow flag.
If you do happen to receive this text and you get locked out of the Messages app, you’ll be pleased to know it’s easy to recover from it. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open Safari on your iPhone
- Visit vincendes3.com/save.html
- You will be prompted to “Open this page in Messages” — tap Open
- Once inside the Messages app, delete the conversation that contains the malicious text by swiping left on the thread, then tapping Delete
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.
This particular glitch is “method 1” in the video above; “method 2” is an older hack we’ve covered before, but it still seems to work. This one’s worse because it can continue to crash your device, and works on all versions of iOS 10. However, it isn’t as easy to to execute.