No one could have foreseen how many problems unicode would cause on iPhones. There was no way to predict it but here we are with yet another bug that can crash apps on iOS. Earlier this year, a telugu character caused messaging apps to crash and in some cases, put your iPhone in a boot loop. The new unicode bug manifests in the form of a little black dot which, if sent to anyone with an iOS device running iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4, will cause the app to crash. This can happen on just about any messaging app. If you’ve been a victim, here’s how you can fix it and use the affected app again.
Fix The Block Dot Crash
What you need to do is get the message with the black dot off your screen so that iOS doesn’t try and display it. Assuming the app is stuck on your screen, you need to first return to your home screen. The obvious way to do this is to tap the home button, or the home bar indicator if you have an iPhone X. If that doesn’t work, just invoke Siri and then tap the home button to return to your home screen. Quit the affected app i.e., remove it from recent apps.
Next, you need to clear the app’s message thread so that when you open it, the message with the black dot isn’t the one that iOS has to load. To do that, invoke Siri and have her send several messages to the contact that sent you the black dot. Make sure you send at least five or eight to push the black dot further up. Once you’ve done that, open the messages app, and it will load without crashing.
Return to the main screen of the messages app, swipe left on the contact that sent you the black dot, and delete the conversation thread. If the affected app isn’t the Messages app, use Siri to send a message through the affected app by saying, ‘Hey Siri, send a message to [contact] on [app name]’. If your iPhone has 3D touch, check to see if the 3D touch options for that app allow you to compose a new message. The app is still working but if you open it, it will freeze. There’s nothing wrong with the app itself. It’s iOS 11 that’s having trouble rending a character that you’ve received.
Once the crash has been resolved, you might want to talk to the ‘friend’ that sent you the message and maybe use the handy block feature to contain them until Apple fixes it.