Apple continues to win well-deserved plaudits after releasing the best value smartphone of 2020 (despite some small doubts). But for millions of existing iPhone owners, things have been bad. And now they’re worse.
Following Apple’s confirmation that almost all iPhones are vulnerable to a potentially serious flaw in the iOS Mail app, the company has now started work to fix an even more immediate problem which enables anyone to seriously crash your iPhone.
First reported last week, we now know every iPhone running Apple’s latest iOS 13.4.1 software can be made to crash, often completely locking up the device and even forcing a restore via DFU mode if it receives a message containing characters in the Sindhi language.
Anyone can initiate the crash on another person’s iPhone just by sending a specific combination of these characters (excluded from this post for obvious reasons) to Message or Mail. iPads, Macs, and even the Apple Watch can also be affected.
The good news is Apple is moving quickly to fix the damage. The official @AppleSupport has been working at full speed to help users (tip: turn off Mail and Message notifications, the crash stems from the notification, not the message itself) and Apple has also been hard at work because I can confirm that the latest beta of iOS 13.4.5 fixes it.
In my iOS 13.4.1 Upgrade Guide, I warned users not to update due to a number of bugs (both introduced and ignored). That said, if you (understandably) couldn’t resist the lure of new software, you might not have long to wait. I understand that Apple is to release either iOS 13.4.5 or an iOS 13.4.2 emergency update this week, and it will contain a patch for the big iOS Mail vulnerability as well.