Emojis can spell trouble if you are an iPhone user and susceptible to a prank. iPhone or rather iOS in general is no stranger to a vague string of messages that will crash the recipient’s device and while most of the time they are not serious sometimes they are lethal enough to brick your iPhone. The latest bug affecting iPhone users comes in the form of a emoji string that will freeze your phone for a moment and will force restart.
The bug was first showcased by YouTube channel EverythingApplePro and it involves sending a string of images and characters to the recipients including a white flag emoji, a numeric zero and the rainbow emoji. This bug will affect all the devices running iOS 10 and above but consider yourself safe if you are running earlier versions.
Once the target receives the message the device stops working for a few minuted and you won’t be able to do anything till the device force starts itself. The worst part is that unlike other bugs the string will still freeze your iPhone even if you don’t open the message. Also, you will not be able to reboot or do anything once the phone freezes. That said the senders can have a dose of their own medicine if they are not careful enough while sending the message and the senders will usually make use of Notes app on iCloud to share the characters.
According to vincedes3.com, this is what happens, “The rainbow flag emoji isn’t an emoji in itself, it’s made of three characters: waving a white flag, a character called variation sector 16 (VS16 for short), and the rainbow. What VS16 does in this case essentially is tells the device to combine the two surrounding characters into one emoji, yielding the rainbow flag.” The site further explains how the phone tries to combine the waving white flag and the zero as an emoji. There have also been instances of the Messages app constantly crashing and in that case, it’s recommended to restore the Messages.
If you want to prevent such a thing from happening there is nothing you can do till Apple fixes the bug. Maybe this is the best time to identify your foes and block them. Interestingly this bug also affects Android but instead of crashing the phone it simply slows it down for a certain time.