Indian Character Bug Causing System Crashes is Fixed in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4

A recently discovered bug that causes app and system crashing on iPhone, iPad, and Mac due to a specific letter in the Indian language Telugu has been fixed in Apple's upcoming iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 software updates.


MacRumors has not been able to reproduce any crashes, freezes, or resprings on any devices running the latest iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 betas when the particular letter is present anywhere across the systems, as the upcoming software versions can now display the affected character properly.

On earlier software versions, including the latest publicly released versions iOS 11.2.5 and macOS 10.13.3, it appears that Apple devices are unable to render the Indian character for some reason, causing apps or the entire system to abruptly crash depending on where it is trying to be displayed.

If the character is sent in an iMessage, for example, the recipient's Messages app will crash when the conversation is opened. Likewise, if the character is pasted into the Safari or Chrome address bar on Mac, the browsers crash. This behavior extends to virtually any system text field on iOS and macOS, resulting in many third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger being affected as well.

Even worse, some users have found that if the character is displayed in an iOS notification, it can cause an entire iPhone or iPad to respring, and in worst-case scenarios, restoring in DFU mode is the only possible solution.

If you've already received the letter and can no longer open Messages, try having a friend message you, which may allow you to regain access to the app and delete the conversation with the bad character. If not, consider enrolling in Apple's free public beta program and upgrade to iOS 11.3 or macOS 10.13.4 beta.

MacRumors was alerted about this bug by developer Peter Steinberger on Monday, and it was submitted to Open Radar by developer Igor Bulyga on the same day. We elected not to report on the bug at the time to avoid contributing to its spread, since it can be used maliciously and a fix will be widely available soon.

The bug has received widespread attention today, so we wanted to acknowledge that Apple is aware of the issue and has implemented a fix. iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 should be publicly released by the end of March, but it's very possible we'll see minor updates pushed out with fixes in the near term.

These kinds of bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app and causing other glitches. Just last month, a link to a GitHub page surfaced that froze the Messages app when received.

Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago

You're obviously not a programmer nor have any experience with it.

He didnt say he was a programmer. Nor is he working for a 900 billion dollar company that deals with millions of people publicly. You don’t need to be a programmer to realize Apple’s QC department has been lacking recently.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
Would it really be that hard to have an automated QA system that rapidly simulates typing every system character to check for bugs? This must be the fifth or sixth time a bug like this has affected iOS.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago

How does a single simple character cause an application to crash?? Wow, that's truly impressive programming.

You're obviously not a programmer nor have any experience with it.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
iOS QC becoming very sloppy, lately?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
How does a single simple character cause an application to crash?? Wow, that's truly impressive programming.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

You're obviously not a programmer nor have any experience with it.

I'm a programmer. Proper frameworks took care of these sorts of issues 20 years ago.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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