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New Black Dot Bug On iPhone and iPad Can Crash Your Device

By Goran Spasojevic / May 9, 2018

Apple users have found a new text bag called the "black dot" which has its origins from Android's version of WhatsApp. This bug happens once an iPhone user writes or receives a message containing this emoji: <⚫> 👈🏻. This particular set of symbols, also known as a text bug, causes your iOS device to freeze and crash.

This issue happens, as 9to5Mac notes, because the strings contain thousands of Unicode characters. These characters are invisible and in order to process them, CPU cycles are being increased to the point where the device freezes or crashes. This also means that if you have an iOS device and receive the message containing this emoji, your device will crash.

ios-black-dot-bug

Image Courtesy Of: 9to5Mac

This current bug is affecting iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4 beta devices. It also causes freezing on other platforms like Mac and iPad, and probably even watchOS and tvOS. The issue became popularized after it was mentioned by a YouTube channel "EverythingApplePro".

The biggest problem with black dot bug on iOS is that your Messages app will keep crashing indefinitely until you delete the message which contains the problematic symbol, but at the same time, you cannot access the message in order to delete it.

Currently, there is no fix for this except a couple of workaround methods. For example, a user can force quit the Messages app and use 3D Touch to open up a new message and through it access list of messages and then delete the malicious message. Another solution is to open up an iCloud on your other device and delete the message from there.

Apple is working on fixing this bug in the upcoming software update. For more detailed and technical explanation, users can check this video by Tom Scott.



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