Fun iOS Safari Bug Lets You Trick Your Friends With Fake Website Headlines

You may or may not know this, but there's a feature in Safari that's designed to let you select a portion of text and send it to a friend over Messages using the Share feature in Safari.

When researching one of our tips videos, we came across this handy trick, but soon discovered that there's another aspect to it -- one that you can use to create fake website headlines that can be sent to your friends and family.


As it turns out, there's a bug in the select text and share feature, and it involves the search function on websites. If you type text into the search bar on a website, highlight it, and then share it with the Safari Share Sheet, it will send your written text along with a website link that looks rather official. See the screenshot below:

fakeheadlinesafari crop
Here are the specific steps to follow to create a fake website title:

1. Go to a website with a search function, such as MacRumors.com.
2. Make sure your iPhone is in landscape mode.
3. Tap on the search bar.
4. Enter your text and then select it.
5. Tap on the Share icon next to the address bar.
6. Select Messages and then type in the name of the person who you want to prank.

From there, the person will see the fake website header that you created, but it will look like text from the website itself because the text isn't sent separately due to the rich text feature in Messages.

This pretty much only works ‌iPhone‌ to ‌iPhone‌ and won't work if you're sending messages to your friends on Android devices. You can use this trick on the iPad too, but it doesn't work on the Mac.

If you want to use the feature as Apple intended you to do, you can select a bit of text on a website and then send it to a friend to highlight something specific that's worth pointing out. Like in our AirPods roundup, if you wanted to highlight the bit about a new color, you could select it and share the page with this text visible in the link.

It's actually a useful feature that's great for pointing out specific passages in blogs, news articles, and more.

We're pretty sure selecting search text through this feature and sending it over Messages is a bug that Apple will fix at some point, but in the meantime you can have a bit of fun with it and send unique website headlines to friends and family.

Tag: Safari

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
23 months ago
Woah, it really works!



Attachment Image
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
23 months ago

Really, MacRumors?!? Since when is propagating fake headlines "fun" or positive in any way...this story is ridiculous and is a disservice to anyone who actually values the truth.

It’s a foolproof plan! Unless the user does something stupid, like, say, follow the link and realise it’s a joke.

But if people who “value the truth” take a clickbait headline at face value without investigating further, I think that reflects worse on their values than it does an innocent prank.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
23 months ago
Oh my god, you actually took my advice* with the bug exploit video thumbnail! That's awesome! :D It's got a red arrow, emoji, and it's perfect!

[SPOILER="*"]

Always great to see that FaceTime bug demo video again! However, I'm not sure if it's optimally attention-grabbing. Sure the all-caps "MAJOR" is a nice start, but it could still use more work. Maybe something like…

[/SPOILER]
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
23 months ago

Woah, it really works!



Attachment Image

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nattK Avatar
23 months ago
Oh no

Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
23 months ago

Woah, it really works!

Update: he later edited the post to add a GIF he spent an hour working on after originally posting to save his spot early in the thread.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...