Unhappy iPhone users are receiving a ‘black dot of death’ emoji message which can freeze iOS devices instantly – and does not go away even when the app is restarted.
The ‘black dot’ emoji first surfaced as an attack on WhatsApp on Android, but it’s actually harder to deal with on iOS, where it freezes the Messages app.
It freezes the app because there are thousands of invisible characters in the message as well as the emoji, and phones struggle to process them.
On iPhone and iPad it crashes the Messages app, and closing it doesn’t help.
In order to fix the issue, users need to delete the message.
One way is to log in via a different device (ie an iPad using the same Apple login) or to hold down on screen using 3D Touch on iPhone’s screen to reopen Messages as a ‘New Message’ screen.
Full instructions on how to deal with the bug are available in this video by Everything Apple Pro.