"Hey! I got a message from my mate Dave! That's nice - I've not heard from him in... what's going on with my phone?"
Oh the hilarity.
Earlier this week, word started to spread of an oddly specific text message that, if sent to an older model iPhone, would cause it to repeatedly shut down. Conversations like the above began circling offices, as more people got wise to the prank and began sending it to their own chums.
effective.— jeff (@SaiIBoat) May 27, 2015
لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ
Copy and paste ^^
Text that to somebody with a iPhone it makes it turn off and on 😂
And now, Apple has reached out to its panicked users with a reassuring guide on how to prevent the message from messing with their mobiles.
"Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update," reads the support document. "Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app."
First, ask Siri to "read unread messages". You might not even know Siri could do this because, well, who the hell uses Siri?
Once read, use Siri to then reply to the malicious little scamp of a text. Siri is your technological night in shining armour right now, eh? Forget that useless Microsoft paperclip.
Finally, delete all trace of the offending text, either by swiping left to delete the entire thread of messages from that individual (no longer your friend), or tap and hold the malicious message, tap 'More', and delete the message from the thread.
Until Apple releases a software patch, the above is their recommended approach to stopping the pranksters. That, and you can turn off notifications for messages - though we understand if that leaves you in a nervous sweat of isolation.