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June 10, 2015

Apple's iOS 8.4 beta fixes 'Unicode of Death' bug

Glitch enabled a string of characters to crash iMessage

Technology iPhone
05272015_iPhone_AP Amy Sancetta/AP

A Verizon iPhone is shown.

A fix is finally on the way after a flaw exposed in Apple's iOS last month revealed the iPhone's iMessage app, among others, can be crashed with the receipt of a single text message.

At the end of May, Apple notified users of a temporary fix that relies on Siri to help reverse the havoc set in motion by the menacing string of characters. Some users believe the iPhone's memory is overloaded by the code, causing it to freeze, shut down, and in some cases fail to launch certain apps once rebooted.

On Tuesday, according to CultofMac, Apple seeded the iOS 8.4 beta to developers. It doesn't include any major new features but will address the bug now affecting iPhones and iPads.

Fortunately, fears that the Arabic characters in the message represent some sort of sinister ISIS plot can be cast aside. The bug, dubbed 'Unicode of Death,' actually had a predecessor in 2013 that crashed web browsers on certain versions of OS X and iOS. It wound up being more of an inconvenience than a serious threat.

While a public release date for iOS 8.4 hasn't officially been set, the launch of Apple Music on June 30 may be a likely timetable to expect it.