It's a bad time for messaging apps. Just a week after it was discovered that a tiny string of characters can disable Messages on the iPhone, a similar bug has been found that takes out Skype. Receiving a message on the Microsoft-owned platform containing the characters "http://:" was reported to crash the software when running on Windows, Android, or iOS, although Skype for Mac and the touch-optimized Skype for Windows 8.1 are reportedly unaffected. (In our own tests, the message crashed the iOS app, but the Android version was unscathed.) The problem was flagged up on Skype's forums and first reported by VentureBeat, with a spokesperson for Skype confirming the bug's existence to the publication: "We are aware of the problem and are working to provide an resolution."
A workaround involves the sender deleting the message and reinstalling Skype
The bug is especially annoying as users can't even be free of it by deleting their chat history: Skype simply re-downloads this data from the cloud and when the program restarts, it spots the troublesome characters and crashes all over again. A workaround for Windows users (found, again, on Skype's community forums) suggests asking the person who sent you the message to delete it, and then installing an older version of Skype instead. Hopefully the company will be quicker than Apple when it comes to issuing a full fix for the bug.