Odd iMessage Bug Truncates Last Word of Certain Text Phrases

As noted by The Verge, a strange iMessage bug is causing the final word of certain phrases sent via Messages to an iPhone to be invisible to both the message sender and the recipient.

When the following two phrases are sent using iMessage, the last word is not displayed on the iPhone:

- I could be the next Obama (with a space after Obama)
- The best prize is a surprise

imessagebug
Both messages look complete when they are being composed, and the full text shows up in notifications, but within the Messages app itself, the words Obama and surprise are both invisible. Copying and pasting the message displays the original text.

Many Twitter users have been able to confirm the problem, which only appears to affect the iPhone.

The bug was first noticed back in December and posted on the Apple Support forums. It appears that additional phrases trigger the truncation as well, though it is unclear what is causing the issue.

Update: As noted on the MacRumors forums, the issue appears to be related to character width. From Arian19:

You can test it out, and even if you change “I could be the next Odama ” as the phrase it still gets deleted.

The problem is that the message app, thinks the phrase will fit in a one line bubble, but it actually puts the last word on a hidden second line.

It works with these two phrases because they are the exact width needed, and it is not based on character count, but character width. For example, "l" is skinner than a "w".

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Top Rated Comments

Rudy69 Avatar
147 months ago
If I had to take a guess I would say it's a small bug that the bubble isn't wide enough and Obama gets wrapped to the next line (and you can't see it)

Source: I'm a developer and I've worked on an app where we had chat bubbles like that and I had a bug where the bubble size wasn't calculated properly and it ended up a bit like that
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FSMBP Avatar
147 months ago
Uhh...that didn't work for me and my friend now thinks I'm crazy.

Edit: Got it to work. I needed to put a space after "surprise" even though the directions only specified that only needed to be done with after the "Obama" phrase:

When the following two phrases are sent using iMessage, the last word is not displayed on the iPhone:

- I could be the next Obama (with a space after Obama)
- The best prize is a surprise
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Solomani Avatar
147 months ago
Theory: Apple does not like Obama. And the company doesn't like surprises either.

I kid, I kid! :D
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cire Avatar
147 months ago
Reason #452 for not using imessage.

Could you please list the 451 other reasons not to use iMessage. Since it is the main way that I communicate, your sharing this font of wisdom should greatly improve my life.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bacaramac Avatar
147 months ago
For someone who runs software projects, these bugs are almost impossible to find in testing. Takes real world users to find weird things like this.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cire Avatar
147 months ago
Ok this explains why some of my text convos between my gf and I have been getting messed up

Like the fact that it comes out as you calling her by another woman's name...who happens to be her sister...and messed up by sending pictures of your 'surprise'?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)