How to Patch Macs, iPads Against Device-Crashing Bug

The iPhone isn't the only device that Apple has patched to protect against a device-crashing flaw triggered by a text featuring a specific character from an Indian writing system (Telugu).

Yesterday (Feb. 19), in addition to the iOS 11.2.6 update for iPads and iPhones, Apple released macOS 10.13.3. It protects systems that receive texts featuring the character, which froze Apple's Messages app and led to malfunctions in others.

This is an important download for Macs and iPads because of the automatic text-message-forwarding feature, which users enable to receive messages on all of their devices. You'll want to download this patch ASAP, as a quick Twitter search for "Telugu iPhone" shows that the character is now known and can be used to troll others.

What to Do

To find the update on a Mac, open the Apple menu from the top left corner of your screen, select the App Store and tap Updates in the following window. Then, click Install next to macOS 10.13.3, which should be one of the available downloads listed.

Your system will then download, verify and install the update, with the latter part taking your system offline for a short amount of time.

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To download the update for your iPad (or iPhone), open the Settings app, tap General and tap Software Update. You should then see a window explaining that iOS 11.2.6 is available for download. Then, make sure you're ready to not use your iPad for a little bit (as the install process took me about 10 minutes last night) and tap Download and Install.

Apple also updated tvOS and watchOS to stop the crash from happening on Apple TVs and Apple Watches.

To find the new watchOS version, first update your iPhone, and then open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then tap the My Watch tab, tap General and tap Software Update.

To update a 4th Gen or 4K Apple TV, open the Settings app, click System, select Software Updates and select Update Software. Older Apple TVs are updated by opening Settings, clicking General, clicking Update Software and turning on Update Automatically.

Rumor has it that Apple is pushing back major new features in iOS 12 in order to focus on its reliability and performance, so the company may not be dealing with the same laundry list of bugs it has with iOS 11 (such as the glitchy iOS 11.0.1 update and the text-mangling bug).

A version of this article originally appeared on Tom's Guide.

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