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Five second video can crash iPhones

The video in question will cause iPhones to crash soon after viewing. (Source: Apple)
The video in question will cause iPhones to crash soon after viewing. (Source: Apple)
A short five second video that's able to cause iPhones and iPads to lock and freeze can be easily shared via a link.

iPhone users beware: a video that can easily be shared through a text message can crash your iOS device.

The Verge has reported that a link to the video will cause an iPhone to begin operating slower and slower until it eventually crashes. They tested several devices running iOS 10.1 and the iOS 10.2 beta; all tested iPhones experienced the same crash. Cara McGoogan at the Telegraph reports that even devices running early versions of iOS (all the way back to iOS 5) can be crashed through the video.

The root of the problem is unclear at this time. The video can only cause a crash if it is accessed through a link and watched in the iPhone’s native media player. If the video is transferred as a full file, then it may not cause a crash. It’s speculated that the video is corrupt and causes a looped playback which can fill the device’s RAM and cause a memory failure, resulting in a system crash.

Affected users can remedy the problem by performing a hard reset on their device. They will need to hold the power and home button at the same time to hard reset the phone, which will clear all system RAM and cached data. Apple has not stated any other fixes or updates to address the problem at this time.


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Sam Medley, 2016-11-23 (Update: 2016-11-23)