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Security

Apple updates operating systems to fix app-crashing bug

The bug causes apps running on iOS devices and Macs to shut down. All it takes is a certain Indian symbol.

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Apple releases software updates to address a bug that caused apps to crash if a certain Indian symbol appeared.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple released security updates for its operating systems on Monday to address a bug that causes apps to crash when a certain Indian symbol is displayed.

The bug, discovered last week, allows the Indian character in the Telugu language to shut down iOS apps and prevent them from opening back up. It affects any app that can display characters, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Messages.

Updates issued Monday included iOS 11.2.6 for the iPhone and iPad, TVOS 11.2.6 for the Apple TV, WatchOS 4.2.3 for all Apple Watch models and MacOS 10.13.3 for the Mac.

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The release notes for iOS 11.2.6 say the update "fixes an issue where using certain character sequences could cause apps to crash" and "fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories."

The problem was first spotted last week by Mobile World, which noted that it's even worse if the character pops up as a notification. In most scenarios, you have to uninstall and reinstall the app to get it to work again.

Apple said at the time it was working on a fix that would be available in the next update.

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