A new text message has been discovered that can freeze iPhones instantly for around a minute, often forcing users to restart the device.
The message is reportedly only three characters long and is the latest in a string of similar nefarious texts that can disable iPhones.
According to The Telegraph, the text doesn’t work on the latest version of iOS, and in most cases the effects are only temporary.
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The text itself contains just a white flag emoji, a “0”, and a rainbow emoji, and will disable both the touchscreen and the physical buttons on the phone.
It seems the message takes advantage of a fault in the way iOS creates the rainbow flag emoji, which isn’t an official emoji.
The operating system therefore creates it by using the code for the white flag and rainbow emoji which are linked by a hidden character, VS16.
As EverythingApplePro showed in a YouTube video, by putting the “0” between the two emoji, the iPhone is unable to combine the two emoji, resulting in the crash.
If you want to avoid the whole thing you simply need to make sure you’re on the latest version of iOS by going to Settings>General>Software Update.
You can also try blocking the number if you do receive a text, to make sure you’re not sent any more in the future.
On top of the emoji text, other users are reportedly being sent a message that shares a large contact file from the iCloud Drive app.
If you’ve received this message you can try blocking the sender, but the text itself will likely crash the messages app every time you try to open it.
EverythingApplePro has a link in its video description for opening a new message that should help you get around the problem.
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Let us know if you’ve been sent any of the texts in the comments.