Apple’s iMessage Bug can render your iPhone, Apple Watch and more inoperable – Apple Support Dialogue plus workaround solution

Whenever you read about bugs or issues hitting devices, I remain fairly sceptical that it is an isolated incident. But when somebody you know can’t use their iPhone, Apple Watch and more because they received an iMessage then it time to take notice.

Below is the transcript from their call to Apple Support, with just the names changed to protect the my friend’s privacy.

Apple – Thanks for contacting AppleCare chat support. My name is Martha. How can I help you?

Wilson – Hello I have received a message from a spam number containing characters that activate a bug in iMessage. Every time I go to open iMessage it force closes. This has affected my iPhone and my iPod Touch. It came through to the Watch but that is ok. Do you have a solution as I would rather not reset my phone and iPod?

Apple – Martha – Thanks for chatting in, Wilson! Not to worry, this is actually an issue Apple is aware of. We are working to solve it and have some preliminary troubleshooting we could do if you would like to try it. I know its important to get your Messages working.

Wilson – Please

Apple – Did you receive the text from one specific person?

Wilson – Yes but I don’t recognise the number so think it is spam

Apple – Let’s go into your photos app and pick a random photo. It can be anything even a blurry one.

Wilson – I don’t know the number as I deleted it off my mac. I think I know what you are going to suggest. I will check my other mac see if it is on there still. It crashes my Apple Watch as well by the way.

Apple – It will do that to any device. Right now, we need to work on the phone, that’s the one we can fix. The others Apple is working diligently on, assured to come up with a solution in the next few days. Thank you for your patience!

Wilson – Ok so what do I do now?

Apple – The solution that has been working for customers is going to a backup before that message got to your phone or doing a restore and then adding your iCloud backup later on.

Wilson – But that is a long process to get the iPhone working.

Apple – I agree it can take a few hours, Wilson, that is the only proven solution as the matter is recent and is still being worked on.

Wilson – I got the number off the mac upstairs and did the photo trick. Have my devices been compromised? Is this a security issue? What is the solution for the watch as this crashes too?

Apple – This is not a security issue, Wilson. You didn’t download anything nor does it have any access to your personal information. It’s merely a message that affects the app itself. The Watch solution is still being worked on. You could try the photo solution at this time.

Wilson – can’t do that from the watch, so I’m going to have a watch that does not forward messages

Apple – Not for long, Wilson. The Watch has recently come out so they are already hard at work on the solution for it. Rest assured, you will have it back up and working in no time. I will even send you a case number if you want to chat back in and inquire about it.

Wilson – but even a day is a bit of a long time isn’t it to be honest

Apple – I understand, I know you spent a lot of money to get it! If this was a simple solution, I could troubleshoot it. There are times when issues like this emerge where we just have to let the solution be worked on lest it cause more of an issue.

Wilson – I have just found a solution for the watch do you want to know it to help others?

Apple – Any information you find online would be a great help! I know people are working fervently to get it solved so any input would be appreciated.

Wilson – create a contact on the phone with the number the message is from. Add that as a favourite in the watch app on the phone, go to the watch select favourites and send a text to that number from the watch, then go back into messages and that should be at the top of the list able to delete now

Apple – That’s a really good troubleshoot! Essentially it is doing what we did by sending the photo to the number which seems to be fixing the issue.

Wilson – my only issue with these solutions and something I feel Apple should be concerned with that the solution you suggest involves sending a reply to the number. If i was a spammer or wanted to collect a nice list of iPhone owners and iMessage numbers then I would have a lovely list of people who messaged me beck. Now thats a security concern. I would appreciate a call from someone to discuss this

So a simple text message can cause a lot of grief. Have you been affected by this issue?

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