Apple released iOS 11.2.6 to address a bug that causes apps like Messages to crash on the iPhone and iPad due to an inability to render a specific character in the Indian language Telugu. When sent, received, or input into Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more, the Telugu character can cause the app to freeze up and become unresponsive.
The bug also affects Safari and the built-in Messages app on macOS and the Apple Watch. “Apple released updates for watchOS, tvOS, and macOS to stop the crash from happening on those platforms, too,” The Verge reported.
In Messages, for example, receiving the character can freeze up the entire Messages app on all of a person’s Mac and iOS devices. The Messages app then refuses to function properly until the offending character is removed by deleting the conversation with the person who sent it.
In some situations, if the character is viewed through an iOS notification, it can cause the entire device to crash, BGR reported.
Notably, iOS 11.2.6 is the eleventh update to iOS 11 and comes just ahead of iOS 11.3 which will be a major update that is expected to bring new Animojis, a battery health feature and FaceID for family account purchases among other things. Following a pretty disastrous iOS 11 rollout and backlash over Apple limiting performance on older iPhone models, the company will be taking a step back and will reportedly delay introducing new features with iOS 12 and will instead take this year to focus on stabilizing its software and address performance and reliability issues.