There is a new Black Dot bug that is haunting iOS users, one that has the prospect of crippling the iPhone or iPad devices. All of it starts with an innocent looking block dot emoji with a hand pointing to it which when sent to another iOS devices will cripple the iMessage app.
Also, there is more to the black dot than it meets the eye. For there are thousands of Unicode characters associated with the black dot which however remains invisible. The bug is known to affect iOS version 11.3 with no fix available as yet from Apple.
The bug works on the principle of piling up a series of thousands of these Unicode characters on the processor. The CPU is suddenly sent into a tizzy with the memory too getting consumed at an alarming rate. The result is that the device is left with little or no resources for other tasks, rendering the device slow or virtually unusable. With the CPU working at almost cent percent capacity, the device becomes also becomes extremely hot to touch as well.
Interestingly, a similar sort of thing recently appeared on the Android domain as well. However, unlike iOS, the bug on Android was spread through WhatsApp and affected users only when tapped on it. With the bug on iOS requiring no human intervention, that makes it potentially much more damaging. Force-quitting the iMessage app or even restarting the device too won’t help as the malicious message continues to load on its own.
How to fix Black Dot Bug?
However, before Apple is out with a fix for the above issue, here is how users can get rid of the problem for now.
The process starts with force-quitting the iMessage app. While on the home screen, users will have to 3D Touch the iMessage app, tapping on ‘New Message’ followed by canceling the new message. This is to get to the iMessages conversation list. Once there, deleting the particular message containing the bug is all it is needed to get rid of the bug.
Siri too can be of help in getting rid of the menace, which is particularly helpful for those, whose devices aren’t 3D Touch enabled. The starting process is the same, that of force quitting iMessage followed by invoking Siri and asking it to send a reply to the sender of the particular message. The process of sending the reply to the sender has to be continued till the bug is nowhere to be seen on the device screen.
After that, one has to open the iMessage conversation list and remove the message manually as before. The above steps should work until someone else sends the message again, and the cycle starts afresh.