A new iOS bug is making waves: A specific set of characters sent to a contact in a text message can cause the iPhone and the Messages app to crash. This iMessage bug requires a set of specific symbols and Arabic characters.
After sending the characters, the targeted user’s iPhone will respring immediately, so the device will reboot in an instant. Also, the iMessage app will crash if you try to open it. Actually, the app will crash when you attempt to navigate to another conversation.
We have been able to test the bug and confirm that this could be affecting iOS 8 only, because the recipient of our text message, another device, an iPhone 4S running iOS 7, didn’t crash.
However, we had troubles using the iMessage app after sending the message: It kept on crashing, and we weren’t able to launch the app after getting the same message back. When tapping on the iMessage icon, the only thing we could see was that the app was not launching.
Before receiving the message containing this specific set of characters causing the iMessage app to crash, we were able to solve the issue by receiving a message containing “normal” characters. That didn’t work for the second scenario, which didn’t cause our iPhone 6 to respring, but made the iMessage app on the iPhone unusable. We hope Apple fixes this issue soon.
Update: Apple has told iMore is it aware of the bug and will fix it in an upcoming update:
We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update.