The fourth beta of iOS 8.4 released by Apple squashes a messaging bug that enabled anyone to crash iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches via a text message, according to MacRumors. The bug -- discovered by users on Reddit -- requires a specific string of Chinese, Marathi and Arabic characters to be sent.
Once received, the iPhone receiving the message will instantly reboot. Attempts to reopen the Messages app after a reboot will cause it to crash. Users that received the message then need to perform a workaround to regain access to the app. This was due to a glitch in how iOS processed the text in banner and lockscreen notifications.
For now, the message fix is only available to developers through latest iOS 8.4 beta. For everyone else, Apple has issued its own support document with instructions on how to reopen the Messages app. Users can also regain access to the app by sending a message to the original sender via the Photos app.
In addition to iMessage, a number of messaging apps were also affected by the bug, such as Snapchat, Slack and WhatsApp. Some services such as Facebook Messenger were proactive in response to the bug and automatically blocked the text from being sent and Google Hangouts would crash immediately if the text was pasted into the text field.
To prevent the crash from happening again, users can turn off text previews in Messages or disable banner and lockscreen notifications for affected apps.
The messaging patch is expected to rollout as part of iOS 8.4 later this month, ahead of the June 30 launch of Apple Music.