Apple promises fix for Web link crashing bug in iOS 9.3 is coming 'soon' [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
With a link-related bug plaguing some users since the launch of iOS 9.3, Apple has acknowledged that it is aware of the issue, and indicated that a fix will be released in the form of a software update.




"We are aware of this issue, and we will release a fix in a software update soon," Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch. The statement indicates that a likely iOS 9.3.1 update could arrive in the coming days.

The bug is related to an iOS 9 feature called Universal Links, which allow third-party app developers to have certain domain names open links directly into their app. This means links tapped in apps like Safari, Mail, Messages and more will bypass Safari and open the content directly in an iOS app.

The issue appears to be app agnostic, as a both first- and third-party software exhibits crash symptoms, suggesting the issue lies in iOS itself.

Update: AppleInsider reader Rosyna reached out to clarify that the bug apparently affects earlier versions of iOS 9 as well, dating back as far as iOS 9.0.2. The largest culprit appears to be the official Booking.com iOS app, which has since been updated to prevent the associated crashes. Still, users who had already installed Booking.com continue to see problems, and await Apple's fix.

While users await Apple's software update, some have found limited success in disabling JavaScript (accessible in Settings > Safari > Advanced). Others say performing a long press operation on a link in Chrome bypasses the bug, but the solution is hit-or-miss.

Though a total of seven betas were released for iOS 9.3, last week's software launch has seen a number of problems, including an issue that prohibited older iPhones and iPads from completing the activation process, rendering those devices unusable.

Apple was prompted to temporarily pull the update, and released an updated version of iOS 9.3 on Monday to address the other bug.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    The problem is crappily coded apps, but it's easier for Apple to just tweak iOS to handle it. 
  • Reply 2 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    Issue resolved.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 3 of 17
    longpathlongpath Posts: 225member
    What I am seeing is that the Open in Safari functionality doesn't work in multiple apps, causing the app trying to hand off to Safari to lock up. I only started seeing it with the final version of 9.3. I ran all of the 9.3 Betas and didn't see this issue at all. Rebooting my 5S has no effect on the issue and neither does force quitting the offending app. I first saw the issue in Instagram and thought it was an Instagram issue; but discovered that I see the same issue with Twitter and Facebook as well.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    longpath said:
    What I am seeing is that the Open in Safari functionality doesn't work in multiple apps, causing the app trying to hand off to Safari to lock up. I only started seeing it with the final version of 9.3. I ran all of the 9.3 Betas and didn't see this issue at all. Rebooting my 5S has no effect on the issue and neither does force quitting the offending app. I first saw the issue in Instagram and thought it was an Instagram issue; but discovered that I see the same issue with Twitter and Facebook as well.
    It's caused by the same booking.com update issue and is unrelated to iOS 9.3. They updated their website early last week. It was a coincidence that it was when you installed iOS 9.3.
    longpath
  • Reply 5 of 17
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 506member
    What on Earth does another app has to do with a Safari related bug???
  • Reply 6 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    macapfel said:
    What on Earth does another app has to do with a Safari related bug???
    It's not a safari-related bug. It's a bug in the swcd daemon that handles link opening on iOS 9 and later. The Google search results in MobileSafari has some weird JavaScript that ends up passing clicked results to swcd, which results in a crash. That's why disabling JavaScript fixes it only for those results.

    There are more technical details in the comment thread on Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/apple/2016/03/poorly-behaved-app-causing-crashes-and-link-problems-for-some-ios-9-x-users/?comments=1
    magman1979argonaut
  • Reply 7 of 17
    longpathlongpath Posts: 225member
    Rosyna said:
    longpath said:
    What I am seeing is that the Open in Safari functionality doesn't work in multiple apps, causing the app trying to hand off to Safari to lock up. I only started seeing it with the final version of 9.3. I ran all of the 9.3 Betas and didn't see this issue at all. Rebooting my 5S has no effect on the issue and neither does force quitting the offending app. I first saw the issue in Instagram and thought it was an Instagram issue; but discovered that I see the same issue with Twitter and Facebook as well.
    It's caused by the same booking.com update issue and is unrelated to iOS 9.3. They updated their website early last week. It was a coincidence that it was when you installed iOS 9.3.
    I might be inclined to believe you if the issue I am having didn't also manifest in the built in email app, whether Javascript is enabled or not. My issue is not one of links in Safari not being able to hand off to other apps. It's the exact opposite. Other apps can't hand off to Safari. I emailed myself a simple email with http://www.apple.com in the body. I touched the link in the built in email app, causing the email app to lock up. Disabling JavaScript, as suggested in the article, has zero effect on my issue. 
  • Reply 8 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    longpath said:
    Rosyna said:
    It's caused by the same booking.com update issue and is unrelated to iOS 9.3. They updated their website early last week. It was a coincidence that it was when you installed iOS 9.3.
    I might be inclined to believe you if the issue I am having didn't also manifest in the built in email app, whether Javascript is enabled or not. My issue is not one of links in Safari not being able to hand off to other apps. It's the exact opposite. Other apps can't hand off to Safari. I emailed myself a simple email with http://www.apple.com in the body. I touched the link in the built in email app, causing the email app to lock up. Disabling JavaScript, as suggested in the article, has zero effect on my issue. 
    The problem is that some people claim to have had the bug in 9.2.1, though somehow they all come out NOW to say that; rather convenient.

    This bug must depend on a certain set of circumstances because I don't have it on my devices and it didn't show in Beta  (Ipad 2 and Air 2).
    So, your assessment of why it happen is likely not complete; that's probably the reason why it is still not fixe?

    Why not go back to 9.2.1, if it was such a pain? That's what I had suggested to people as soon as it happened last week, but seemingly people prefer bitching.
    magman1979
  • Reply 9 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    longpath said:
    Rosyna said:
    It's caused by the same booking.com update issue and is unrelated to iOS 9.3. They updated their website early last week. It was a coincidence that it was when you installed iOS 9.3.
    I might be inclined to believe you if the issue I am having didn't also manifest in the built in email app, whether Javascript is enabled or not. My issue is not one of links in Safari not being able to hand off to other apps. It's the exact opposite. Other apps can't hand off to Safari. I emailed myself a simple email with http://www.apple.com in the body. I touched the link in the built in email app, causing the email app to lock up. Disabling JavaScript, as suggested in the article, has zero effect on my issue. 
    Read my post previous to yours for the reason 
  • Reply 10 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member

    foggyhill said:
    longpath said:
    I might be inclined to believe you if the issue I am having didn't also manifest in the built in email app, whether Javascript is enabled or not. My issue is not one of links in Safari not being able to hand off to other apps. It's the exact opposite. Other apps can't hand off to Safari. I emailed myself a simple email with http://www.apple.com in the body. I touched the link in the built in email app, causing the email app to lock up. Disabling JavaScript, as suggested in the article, has zero effect on my issue. 
    The problem is that some people claim to have had the bug in 9.2.1, though somehow they all come out NOW to say that; rather convenient.

    This bug must depend on a certain set of circumstances because I don't have it on my devices and it didn't show in Beta  (Ipad 2 and Air 2).
    So, your assessment of why it happen is likely not complete; that's probably the reason why it is still not fixe?

    Why not go back to 9.2.1, if it was such a pain? That's what I had suggested to people as soon as it happened last week, but seemingly people prefer bitching.
    Please read the other comments. The reason is because the bad data file was uploaded to Booking's servers last week.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    longpathlongpath Posts: 225member
    The problem is crappily coded apps, but it's easier for Apple to just tweak iOS to handle it. 
    If that were the case, why is Apple's own Mail client affected?
  • Reply 12 of 17
    longpathlongpath Posts: 225member

    Rosyna said:

    foggyhill said:
    The problem is that some people claim to have had the bug in 9.2.1, though somehow they all come out NOW to say that; rather convenient.

    This bug must depend on a certain set of circumstances because I don't have it on my devices and it didn't show in Beta  (Ipad 2 and Air 2).
    So, your assessment of why it happen is likely not complete; that's probably the reason why it is still not fixe?

    Why not go back to 9.2.1, if it was such a pain? That's what I had suggested to people as soon as it happened last week, but seemingly people prefer bitching.
    Please read the other comments. The reason is because the bad data file was uploaded to Booking's servers last week.
    Since I have not used Booking.com, why would a bad data file on their server have any bearing on my iPhone? Is Apple's own email program routing web links, including links to www.apple.com through Booking.com's servers?
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Rosyna said:
    macapfel said:
    What on Earth does another app has to do with a Safari related bug???
    It's not a safari-related bug. It's a bug in the swcd daemon that handles link opening on iOS 9 and later. The Google search results in MobileSafari has some weird JavaScript that ends up passing clicked results to swcd, which results in a crash. That's why disabling JavaScript fixes it only for those results.

    There are more technical details in the comment thread on Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/apple/2016/03/poorly-behaved-app-causing-crashes-and-link-problems-for-some-ios-9-x-users/?comments=1
    Tested, Disabled Javascript with iOS 9.3 on iPhone 6s. No difference. Multiple reboots. Only fix is a complete factory reset, with fresh install of apps, with no content blocking apps enabled. Now all links from all apps work. No problem. Also never downloaded or enabled Booking.com, still had problem until factory reset. 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    KELHAYKELHAY Posts: 1member
    Why doesn't Apple put an older version IOS that does not have problems on their itunes website so that people can downgrade as such so that we can use our phones and ipads??

    I have an iphone 6 plus - can't use any links in my email, can't use safari, it is now delayed when I press anything, the whole phone seems like it stuffed - so annoyed!

  • Reply 15 of 17
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 82member
    longpath said:

    Rosyna said:

    Please read the other comments. The reason is because the bad data file was uploaded to Booking's servers last week.
    Since I have not used Booking.com, why would a bad data file on their server have any bearing on my iPhone? Is Apple's own email program routing web links, including links to www.apple.com through Booking.com's servers?
    iOS automatically downloads a specific file on servers declared by an app when you install an app on iOS. It also periodically checks for updates to the file.  These updates are stored in the global swcd process, which handles passing links from one app to another. Therefore, if this swcd crashes, links stop working in all apps if that app developer hasn't explicitly overridden the default behavior of clicking on a link.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    foggyhill said:
     The problem is that some people claim to have had the bug in 9.2.1, though somehow they all come out NOW to say that; rather convenient.

    This bug must depend on a certain set of circumstances because I don't have it on my devices and it didn't show in Beta  (Ipad 2 and Air 2).
    So, your assessment of why it happen is likely not complete; that's probably the reason why it is still not fixe?

    Why not go back to 9.2.1, if it was such a pain? That's what I had suggested to people as soon as it happened last week, but seemingly people prefer bitching.


    I'm one of those for whom the bug manifested in 9.2.1.  It just started last Friday, the 25th.  As far as I can recall, I've made no changes to my phone for at least two weeks prior to that.  This suggests that it's not wholly the fault of iOS, but of something else on my device. 

    Unfortunately, removing the booking.com app had no effect, the problem remained.  The only thing that fixed it was a complete restore to a much earlier backup, from mid December, and I know I've made changes in that period.

  • Reply 17 of 17
    Rosyna said:
    Issue resolved.
    How was it resolved?
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