A bug in iOS allows for the Messages app to crash when an iPhone receives a specific text string. We’ve seen a similar issue in older iOS builds. This latest issue has been percolating in our forums and is becoming relatively widespread. Using a serious of symbols and Arabic characters sent via iMessage or SMS, the recepient’s Messages app to crash and result in a reboot of the iPhone. After the reboot, the Messages app will continue to crash if it is in list view.
The temporary fix requires you send a message to yourself using Siri. Something along the lines of, “Siri, send a message to myself.” You’ll be prompted to confirm your phone number and dictate a message. The content doesn’t matter.
If you know the person who sent the text, you can have a laugh (or not) and ask them to send another message. That should get you back into messages, where you can delete the discussion.
Finally, a third fix is to use the share sheet to send a webpage, photo or anything else via Messages.
These are all temporary fixes, but should get your Messages app open and running. Apple is aware of the issue and you can expect a future software update to correct the problem.
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.