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Apple issues iOS 9 update to fix app-breaking bug caused by tapping links

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iOS 9.3.1 is available for download now

Apple today released an update to iOS 9 to fix an issue that made some apps like Safari and Mail unresponsive, and in some cases crashed them entirely, when trying to open links. The update, version 9.3.1, arrives just two days after Apple acknowledged the bug and pledged it would release a fix soon. While not a catastrophic bug by any means, the problem was affecting not only iOS 9.3 users, but users of older versions of Apple's mobile OS as well.

The bug may trace back to Apple's new Universal Links feature introduced with iOS 9 back in September. Universal Links was designed to allow developers to connect URLs with specific mobile apps, letting users tap a link to a website and have it open in the site's mobile app instead. However, as detailed by mobile developer Ben Collier on his personal site, if a developer accidentally includes too many URLs in the file iOS downloads to enable Universal Links, the app could crash under the excess bloat.

Developers were including thousands of URLs for iOS 9's Universal Links feature

Apple's update presumably allows Universal Links to handle larger file sizes, but 9to5Mac reported earlier this week that the company was working with high-profile developers to help them better understand how to use the feature and avoid this issue in the future.