If you have an iPhone, you probably know that iOS 11 hasn't been the smoothest iOS version released, to put it lightly. We've seen bug after bug cripple the software's usability, many times within the Messages app. Now, yet another glitch has emerged to drive us crazy, one where just a simple Indian character can crash Messages as well as other third-party apps.
You don't need to open a text containing the Telugu (a Dravidian language native to India) character to experience the full weight of the glitch. As demonstrated in a video by Tom Warren, even if you allow the message notification to pass unchecked, when you open the Messages app, your iPhone's springboard reloads, blocking you from accessing the app at all. The bug reportedly affects iPhone running iOS 11.2.5.
The official method for patching this new bug is to download and install iOS 11.2.6. Apple released this version of iOS 11 Feb. 19, four days after the initial discovery of the Telugu glitch.
This update was built to address the debilitating iOS bug. If you're running iOS 11.2.5, updating to the latest system software is a no-brainer. Just open your iPhone's Settings app, tap "General," then tap "Software Update." Follow the on-screen instructions to download, install, and protect your iPhone with 11.2.6.
According to The Verge, the fix is straightforward — simply have a friend text you anything but the troublesome Telugu character. Then, open that message, tap the back arrow in the top-left corner of the display, then delete the thread containing the Telugu character.
Once the thread is deleted, you should regain regular access to the Messages app. However, if the character is sent to your iPhone again, you may have to repeat the steps above to solve the issue.
While Messages, fortunately, has a solution to this mess, third-party apps are not so lucky. It appears Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Outlook, and Gmail all fall prey to the same bug, however, the Messages fix does not work.
If any of these other apps on your iPhone are affected, or if you'd like to add an extra layer of security to your iPhone to begin with, consider installing the public iOS 11.3 beta. From what we've seen, iOS 11.3 is not vulnerable to this character bug, so by installing the software on your iPhone, you shouldn't experience the glitch in any of your apps.
Whether Apple fixed this glitch intentionally when developing iOS 11.3 is unclear at this time, however, they have now openly acknowledged the bug. The company states a fix for the issue is in the works, which we anticipate could arrive as soon as iOS 11.2.6.
In any case, make sure to check out our guide on downloading the beta below.