What started out as a seemingly simple bug turned into a real hassle when people figured out it was possible to crash iMessage, Twitter or even the Wi-Fi app on Apple products by inserting a single character from the Indian language of Telugu. And once an app had crashed, it would keep crashing forever until you took somewhat extreme measures such as deleting and reinstalling the app, erasing entire conversation threads, or upgrading to a beta version of your device's OS.
Image: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo
Thankfully, just yesterday, Apple released updates for all of its devices to address the issue. On iPhones and iPads, you're going to want to look out for the update to iOS version 11.2.6, which also "fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external devices". Meanwhile on Apple Watch, Apple TV and Macs, check to make sure you've updated to watchOS 4.2.3, tvOS 11.2.6 and macOS 10.13.3, respectively.
While it's somewhat encouraging to see Apple pushing out fixes for the bug less than a week after the problem came to light, it's hard to imagine the Telugu bug will be the last major issue to plague Apple devices before the end of the year.
Since the release of iOS 11 last spring, iPhone users have reportedly encountered a myriad of issues including hyperlinks that could freeze their handsets, laggy touchscreens that are causing people to miss calls, and the mysterious inability to type the letter "I" properly. We even made a handy guide to identify the eight most annoying problems in the current version of iOS, and what you can do about them.
In fact, it seems things have gotten so bad that Apple says it's going to delay new features in the upcoming iOS 12 update to work on ironing out bugs in iOS 11 instead. It's a sensible move, though people with Apple devices would probably prefer if these bugs never happened in the first place. And even if you weren't effected, consider this another reminder for why it's important to keep your device's software up to date.