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Apple on Sunday released iOS 11.2.6, an emergency update that patches a critical text bug that plagued Apple ecosystem users over the last week.
That issue is the “Telugu” text bomb that was widely disclosed last week. The bug, which involves a Unicode character in the Indian Telugu language, caused a range of issues with Apple’s various operating systems.
When sent to a device, the bug could crash whatever messaging app was used to receive it. In many cases, the app kept crashing upon re-opening. Users reported having to delete and reinstall the app, or attempt to erase the messaging thread with the afflicting characters, to stop the crashing.
Additionally, since the bug involved issues with rendering the Unicode character, the Telugu letter could cause problems in any app in which the character was pasted. That included web browsers on both iOS and macOS, and other applications. If displayed in a notification, the bug could also cause issues with SpringBoard — the under-the-hood application that manages the iOS Home screen.
Reportedly, the issue stems from how the character is displayed in Apple’s own San Francisco font. As such, apps that use a different font are seemingly unaffected according to anecdotal reports.
Thankfully, Apple is issuing fixes for the bug across its entire lineup of operating systems. The fix comes just a few days after it was revealed to the general public, and less than a week after developers first began reporting it.
- For iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, the fix is included in the new iOS 11.2.6 release, which also “fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external devices,” according to Apple’s release notes.
- macOS users can patch the text bug by installing the macOS 10.13.3 Supplemental Update.
- The bug is also fixed in the latest versions of the Apple Watch and Apple TV operating systems, watchOS 4.2.3 and tvOS 11.2.6, respectively.
iOS 11.2.6 is available as a free download for eligible devices. You can install it via Settings > General > Software Update.
The issue has also reportedly been patched in beta testing versions of Apple’s upcoming iOS 11.3 operating system. The third iOS 11.3 beta was seeded to developers on Monday, with a final release expected to rollout this spring.