Don't touch the black dot! New Unicode bug crashes iMessage on iOS and WhatsApp on Android


Remember the Indian character that made the rounds crashing iMessage? No, it's not back, but another one has replaced it - the black dot of death, as it freezes your system when you touch the message to preview. 

Don't touch the black dot! New Unicode bug crashes iMessage on iOS and WhatsApp on Android
If you see this one sent to you, beware that it carries thousands of Unicode strings that will bog down your processing power, and will crash your iPhone or iPad while being processed. 

The point to avoid those is moot, though, as there can be plenty of similar strings floating around, and it's not just iMessage that is affected, as the same black dot thingy crashes WhatsApp on Android, for instance. Here's a detailed explanation how all of this happens, but just remember - don't touch it!


The solution if you get this one (don't just start sending those at your exes at will now), is to force close Messages, then open a new thread by pressing deeper on its icon, go back and delete the original. Apple will likely release a whack-a-mole update to combat this particular Unicode bug, but until then, beware of the black dots of death in this world.

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27 Comments

1. Marcwand3l

Posts: 381; Member since: May 08, 2017

Interesting. Whatsapp on Android will be updated independently and the problem will go away but with iMessage Apple needs to release an OTA update.

2. NateDiaz

Posts: 1079; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Yeah cause WhatsApp is a standalone application while iOS is an operating system and iMessage is part of the OS.

5. whatev

Posts: 2081; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Genius, your IQ must be around 185

8. aegislash

Posts: 1427; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

He's right though? No need to get salty.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30663; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Duhhh. Thanx for that info Captain Obvious.

16. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

The problem is not just Whatsapp on Android. It will happen in any message app. So only updating Whatsapp doesn't solve the issue

17. ssallen

Posts: 100; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

Nope 100% inaccurate, Android messages is unaffected.

22. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

According to Android Police: As you may have guessed, there's nothing particularly special about WhatsApp: the bug is related to Android's text rendering engine, so almost any app that displays text is susceptible to it https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/05/05/emoji-message-crashes-android-app-no-big-deal/ Perhaps Android messages doesn't use Android's text engine, which seems unlikely. This is NOT a Whatsapp only problem.

23. Finalflash

Posts: 4061; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Depends on how they use it and if one is not affected than the others can be changed to not be affected until the engine is fixed.

25. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

WhatsApp copy Apple feature just to bring it on to Android OS? Great!

3. yalokiy

Posts: 860; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Doesn't crash telegram, just hangs for about 3 seconds.

4. Papa_Ji

Posts: 760; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

I want that "back dot".... Can anybody help me.

9. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

The article so good, it had to be posted twice !!

20. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

OFF-TOPIC: Haven't handled the iPhone X nor had I used a phone with a notch, so I'm neither really for or against the design in terms of usage and intrusion, even as much as I think the craze is sick. But you guys bashing others for having a bottom chin when the X doesn't, really? The wide notch and the thick round bezels on the X doesn't really make a good sight, to me at least. Only the rumored Mi 7 would be worse than that! Eliminating some status bar elements for the wide notch is already downside, IMO, even without handling the device.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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