Apple Provides Workaround for iPhone Text Message Bug

It's Siri to the rescue — for now — until Apple can provide a software fix to a bug that can cause iPhones to mysteriously shut down when they receive a certain text message.

The tech giant outlined on its support page a workaround for the newly-discovered glitch, which has occurred when the iPhone receives a message with a specific string of characters, including some Arabic characters, according to several tech blogs. 

When an iPhone isn't being used, it typically shows a shortened version of the message on the phone's lock screen. That shortened combination of characters apparently triggers the crash. Affected phones will restart automatically. The bug can also cause the Messages app to crash. 

Some pranksters have been sharing information about the glitch on social media and using it to crash other peoples' phones.

Owners can prevent the problem by using phone settings to turn off the message "previews" feature.

Apple said Siri can also be of service until their software update is available.

Here are steps outlined by the tech giant:

1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages."
2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again.
3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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