It’s been a couple years since people were able to crash iPhones and iPads simply by sending a few symbols in Telugu. But now, it appears Apple has another debilitating text bug that’s causing problems for iOS devices.
The new issue stems from a handful of characters from the Sindhi language that, when combined with the Italian flag and then sent to an iPhone or iPad, causes the device to lock up until it is hard rebooted or Apple’s OS eventually performs an automatic recovery process—which can take up to a couple of minutes.
It seems this bug is caused by the way iOS handles notifications, which means it is possible to protect your device by going into settings and disabling all notifications. What makes this bug a little more frustrating is that the issue isn’t limited only to Apple Messages, as the bug has largely been spread through third-party chat and communication apps like Telegram, Discord, and even Twitter.
Thankfully, while Apple’s new iOS text bug may be annoying, it doesn’t seem to cause any lasting damage or data loss. Additionally, it seems Apple is already aware of the issue and is working on a fix; according to a MacRumors reader, the text bug does not affect devices running the iOS 13.4.5 second beta.
Based on how Apple has addressed similar bugs in the past, I would expect it to push out a bug fix sometime in the next couple weeks. So until then, if you don’t want to completely disable your notifications, you may want to stay away from strange chats to protect yourself from getting bombed by some buggy text.