Tech Brief: Apple Devices Suffer From Yet Another Software Bug

Apple may have just fixed a chaiOS bug that would cause iMessage on iOS and macOS devices to crash with a simple hyperlink, but it appears that the company may have a bigger problem to tackle: a Telugu language character (see left) that's causing apps (including third-party ones) to repeatedly crash left and right. The bug, more an inability of iOS and macOS to render the said character, has been found to be occurring only in devices running the latest publicly released versions of the software and not in the upcoming updates, suggesting Apple is already aware of the issue and had been actively working on it.

It however isn't the first time bugs of this kind have been discovered though. Back in 2015, a string of Arabic characters caused iPhones to crash and reboot, and in 2016, a maliciously crafted five-second video was found to freeze iOS devices. Even late last year, Apple was forced to issue an emergency software update after locally generated notifications on the iPhones mysteriously pushed CPU usage to 100%, causing them to undergo a soft reset. Given the continuous onslaught of quality control issues, it's no surprise Apple is rethinking its yearly approach to software updates, emphasising on performance and reliability improvements over new features and ensuring that they have been thoroughly tested ahead of release. While it's on that, it should also perhaps unbundle first-party app updates from operating system level changes à la Android, what say?

Update on Feb. 19: Apple has released iOS 11.2.6 and macOS 10.13.3 to fix the crash bug.