A text message that will shut down some iPhones upon receipt is agitating Apple users and encouraging pranksters. It appears that the message — “effective. Power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗” — will turn off iPhone messaging and cause some iPhones to need a reboot. It’s not clear how the pranking message originated or if it’s anything more nefarious than a mere inconvenience.
But a thread on Reddit does set one wrong suspicion about the iPhone code straight — and gives a fix. More than one user suspected the Arabic in the message was the problem, with DatAwsomness writing “apparently IOS doesn’t play nice with Arabic.” Reddit contributor alien_screw explains it’s not the Arabic, but the unicode that’s doing the damage. “The unicode in that text goes on indefinitely without stopping,” he writes. “this causes messages to take up a lot more memory than normal, leading to iOS killing the largest process, the springboard.” Thanks alien_screw! Especially for the solution: “Have somebody send you a picture. That should remedy it.” Or you can tell Siri to send message to yourself. That will also flush the bad code.