Software

Apple releases iOS 11.2.6 to fix Telugu text bug

A potentially iOS-crashing text bug has been patched in the latest iOS release, which also includes a fix for external accessory connection issues.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Apple has released a patch to fix the Telugu text bug, which could crash and brick iOS devices.
  • The Telugu bug also affects Apple Watches, Apple TVs, and macOS devices, which have also been patched. It is recommended you install all updates for affected Apple devices you own.

Apple has released iOS version 11.2.6, which eliminates the Telugu bug that had been crashing iPhones and iPads. Apple has also released updates for WatchOS, macOS, and tvOS, which were affected by the Telugu crash as well.

Along with the Telugu fix, iOS 11.2.6 includes a fix for third-party apps not being able to correctly connect to external accessories, though which apps and accessories were having the issues isn't disclosed in the patch notes.

Unlike previous iOS text bombs, The Telugu bug could cause serious harm to Apple devices that, while not permanently damaging, requires significant work to undo. It's recommended that all Apple device owners update their affected devices to prevent falling prey as soon as possible.

A reset-forcing failure

The Telugu character that crashes iOS apps can be annoying if the app in question is open. Receiving the character via message, typing it, or viewing it in a text field of any kind will simply cause the active application to crash.

The problem for iOS users comes from receiving the offending character in notifications, which are handled by iOS' homescreen manager, called SpringBoard.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Without the update, SpringBoard might kill the character. Then if a user tries to restart their device it could get stuck in a bootloop that only a firmware upgrade reset can fix.

iOS beta testers had already noticed that the bug was fixed in the iOS 11.3 beta, but Apple's release of iOS 11.2.6 shows that it's taking the bug seriously instead of waiting for the next major release to fix it.

Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV owners are also affected by the Telugu bug, and updates are now available to fix those devices as well (WatchOS 4.2.3, tvOS 11.2.6, and macOS 10.13.3).

Don't wait for your prank-loving friends, or a malicious website, to test your Apple device for the latest patch: Update now to avoid getting stuck in a Telugu-induced bootloop.

Also see

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Image: iStock/AntonioGuillem

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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