Mac, iOS versions of Safari crashing due to search suggestions feature [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2016
A number of Mac and iOS users reported Safari crashing on Wednesday, in what appears to be a glitch related to the browser's search suggestions feature. [Updated]




A crash can be triggered simply by trying to enter search terms into Safari's address bar, according to numerous complaints on Twitter. The connection with search suggestions was highlighted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, who noted that disabling the feature or switching to private browsing will temporarily solve the situation.

The issue appears to manifest regardless of search engine choice, since they all inevitably flow through the same Apple API. People who are unaffected generally have suggestions cached locally, or else access to Apple's servers via a DNS cache. Devices with iOS 7 or earlier should be immune.

People who still have a working copy of Safari should avoid actions that will reset their cache, such as turning on Airplane Mode, since once back online Safari will start trying to fetch suggestions if the feature isn't already disabled.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter or offer a timeline for a fix.

Update: Apple solved the problem later on Wednesday. BuzzFeed News noted that anyone still encountering crashes should deliberately clear Safari's cache.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Nothing to see here, there is no software without bugs
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Oh yeah! I have this. I switched to firefox, as Safari is completely unusable. Crashing instantly, repeatedly, about dozens of times today.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    macapfel said:
    Oh yeah! I have this. I switched to firefox, as Safari is completely unusable. Crashing instantly, repeatedly, about dozens of times today.
    Firefox on iOS uses Safari as the core, like all browsers on iOS. 
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
  • Reply 5 of 32
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,333member
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Thank you for restoring sanity back to the discussion.  It's a bug, there are multiple trivial workarounds (the most important part of the article), it'll very likely be fixed in the next OS update, end of story.  Why people feel the need to add their completely irrelevant personal baggage is beyond me.
    edited January 2016 diplication
  • Reply 6 of 32
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    All software has bugs.  Nothing to see here.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    sog35 said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Yes Cook is responsible ultimately. He is the CEO.

    Problem is this is not an isolated occurence.  iOS/OSX and Apple Apps and services have experienced way more bugs since the Steve Jobs days. 

    Apple Music deleting playlists and files
    iPad Pro crashing when being charged
    Safari problems
    Maps debacle
    AppleTV having no keyboard/Remote App support
    iTunes a total dumpster fire.

    The list goes on and on. The farther we get away from Jobs the more confusing, cluttered, and bug infested Apple services is becoming. 
    Short memory sog, Mobile Me was a disaster. Even Jobs made his last joke on stage about it when he introduced iCloud, other of the highly criticized Apple services, that, btw, it works perfectly fine for me, never an issue.
    edited January 2016 jbdragonRayz2016
  • Reply 8 of 32
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,352member
    sog35 said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Yes Cook is responsible ultimately. He is the CEO.

    Problem is this is not an isolated occurence.  iOS/OSX and Apple Apps and services have experienced way more bugs since the Steve Jobs days. 

    Apple Music deleting playlists and files
    iPad Pro crashing when being charged
    Safari problems
    Maps debacle
    AppleTV having no keyboard/Remote App support
    iTunes a total dumpster fire.

    The list goes on and on. The farther we get away from Jobs the more confusing, cluttered, and bug infested Apple services is becoming. 
    The faster you iterate, the higher the frequency of bugs. If you only release an update to one piece of software once a year, you wouldn't have bugs. Apple has been firing on all pistons and then some this whole year. I do think that Apple has been doing too much too quickly but they are also incredibly fast to respond to these issues.

    Apple is making massive advancements this year and that is not possible without bugs. I could explain to you why but it basically comes down to this, every change in software has the potential to create multiple bugs. When creating complex software, an infinite number of things can go wrong. It's a miracle that software works as well as it does considering the demands that users have.

    What I do know is that Apple continues to hire talent and continue to improve in these areas so they can continue their rate of innovation.
    balu
  • Reply 9 of 32
    sog35 said:
    Another example of Tim Cook's Apple.

    Wasting his and the companies time on preaching about Gay rights, diversity, helping kid's code, and solar power.  Yet they have no time to test their services. 


    Yes, because Android and Microsoft are bug free, zero issues...flawless.
    jbdragonbalu
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Disabling "Safari Suggestions" in Settings > Safari fixes the issue for me. I actually didn't like that feature anyway, so I think I'll leave it off. 
    emoeller
  • Reply 11 of 32
    sog35 said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Yes Cook is responsible ultimately. He is the CEO.

    Problem is this is not an isolated occurence.  iOS/OSX and Apple Apps and services have experienced way more bugs since the Steve Jobs days. 

    Apple Music deleting playlists and files
    iPad Pro crashing when being charged
    Safari problems
    Maps debacle
    AppleTV having no keyboard/Remote App support
    iTunes a total dumpster fire.

    The list goes on and on. The farther we get away from Jobs the more confusing, cluttered, and bug infested Apple services is becoming. 
    Jobs had plenty of other bombs as well. G4 Cube? Xserve? ROKR? iTools? All under Jobs. So far, Tim's batting percentage is higher than Steve's. Mainly by virtue of being at the helm for less time. And while Tim May lack as a product guy, he also excels as a decisive administrator who doesn't have to be cornered by the whole company and have shouting matches to stand down from ideas that don't work. 
  • Reply 12 of 32
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    Not a great PR moment for Apple, they have a problem with their servers, fair enough but one that in-turn crashes their Safari browser across countless devices.  WHOOPS!

    Plus, no statement from them, no acknowledgement, nothing.  Meanwhile the press have a field day and even give out incorrect advice about how to workaround the problem.

    /sigh

    To fix it just uncheck include Safari Suggestions or on older OS X disable spotlight suggestions in Safari.  You don't need to disable search provider suggestions like the BBC have published.
    :unamused: 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 13 of 32
    auxio said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Thank you for restoring sanity back to the discussion.  It's a bug, there are multiple trivial workarounds (the most important part of the article), it'll very likely be fixed in the next OS update, end of story.  Why people feel the need to add their completely irrelevant personal baggage is beyond me.
    Also, turn off Safari Suggestions.

    I am curious if anyone that had this bug happen (I did this morning) still has it (I do not).

    Could be a time related bug on the servers.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    croprcropr Posts: 1,051member
    macapfel said:
    Oh yeah! I have this. I switched to firefox, as Safari is completely unusable. Crashing instantly, repeatedly, about dozens of times today.
    Firefox on iOS uses Safari as the core, like all browsers on iOS. 
    It uses the compulsory rendering engine of iOS, like Safari is also doing, but Firefox is not Safari.  The search suggestion of Apple is not used.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    No, but he is responsible for setting the tone and direction for Apple. That includes how frequently and dramatically the OS is updated as well as how much to budget for quality control and testing. This is not a new thing since Cook took over, Apple's obsession with annual releases and it's cash horde started while Steve Jobs was still around and Tim Cook was in charge of operations. In that role Tim was brilliant and can probably be largely credited with helping Steve save Apple. He slashed a lot of expenses and optimized Apple's operations. But Steve was also there to provide the overall vision and tempo of the company. And crack the whip when necessary. Steve was obsessed with perfecting Apple's products. Tim is obsessed with making Apple efficient and massively profitable. Those two goals sometimes conflict.

    My sense is that, as CEO, Tim has left the vision and perfecting of Apple's products to underlings; and they aren't getting the job done as well as they used to under Steve (but still getting it done much better than most other companies...Steve set a very high bar). They still deliver great new features, but it sometimes feels that nobody is sweating the details (other than from a graphic design, does it look pretty perspective). That shouldn't necessarily be the job of the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, but it's the role Steve Jobs played. If Tim Cook can't fill that role, he needs to ensure someone else does. And they haven't found that person yet.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Found the solution myself; internet search wasn't possible.

    This is actually a big issue because it shows how software is developed by Apple.
    Apples 'suggestions' server(s) crapped out - that can happen - but the client software Safari crashes (or hangs, in case of Safari on OS X) on this, and thats probably a design bug. Anyway, this should have been tested by Apple.
    So in short, server crap, safari craps because it hangs on a non essential service and test crap, god knows why.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    sog35 said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Yes Cook is responsible ultimately. He is the CEO.

    Problem is this is not an isolated occurence.  iOS/OSX and Apple Apps and services have experienced way more bugs since the Steve Jobs days. 

    Apple Music deleting playlists and files
    iPad Pro crashing when being charged
    Safari problems
    Maps debacle
    AppleTV having no keyboard/Remote App support
    iTunes a total dumpster fire.

    The list goes on and on. The farther we get away from Jobs the more confusing, cluttered, and bug infested Apple services is becoming. 
    So, Apple should bring back Steve Jobs ...? This would certainly regarded as disruptive, yet, Jobs is not there to trigger such a disruptive thing.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    auxio said:
    Yeah, as if Cook himself personally is responsible for solving the bug...

    Anyways, you can also just enter your search term in the spotlight(?) screen, when you swipe down or left on the home screen, and then select 'search on web'..
    Thank you for restoring sanity back to the discussion.  It's a bug, there are multiple trivial workarounds (the most important part of the article), it'll very likely be fixed in the next OS update, end of story.  Why people feel the need to add their completely irrelevant personal baggage is beyond me.
    The next OS update is not soon enough. It needs to be fixed sooner than that. I wonder if this may be resulting from the recently discovered method of crashing Safari with a specifically crafted web page. If someone seeds enough pages with the right key words to get indexed by the search engines, then when Safari's suggestions function tries to preload one of those pages it crashes Safari.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Aaaand, it isn't fixed, checked it (on iOS) a second ago.
    gatorguy
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