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Apple offers official workaround for bug that crashes iPhone Messages

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Earlier this week, iPhone users discovered that receiving a small string of text characters over Apple's iMessage service could crash their phone's Messages app, effectively blocking them from reading incoming texts. Now, in a support document published on Apple's site, the company has detailed an official workaround for the problem. The company says iPhone owners who've been targeted with the string will need to complete the following steps, using Siri to unlock their Messages app:

  1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages."
  2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again
  3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.

Apple's official workaround is similar to fixes already suggested by iPhone owners, who have used Siri to reply to the original sender, used the Messages app on a Mac to add another message to the conversation. Apple said it was aware of the issue on Wednesday and was working on a fix, but has yet to release an update to Messages that'll stop it locking up when it receives the code word.