Apple’s native web browser, Safari, is crashing for users around the world. Many angry iPhone and Mac users have taken to social media to report that typing into the address bar is causing the application to suddenly close.
The bug, which doesn’t appear to be a problem for all users, seems to be connected to Apple’s Safari suggestions function, which responds to search requests and Url queries.
A temporary fix for the issue is for users to access settings on their Apple device, and under Safari, disable the suggestions function.
An alternative workaround is to enter private browsing mode. This can be done when opening a new tab in Safari. Browsing in private mode will turn the background of the browser black.
The other option is to download a separate browser application altogether, such as Google’s Chrome.
The Guardian has tested iPhones that are both unaffected and affected by the bug.
When a user types into the address bar, the text is sent to servers, which respond with autocomplete search terms, popular sites and other information.
This would suggest the bug’s origins are with the servers. Apple reports no current issues and has yet to respond to the Guardian’s request for comment, but is promising an explanation in due course.
It is unclear whether the bug is related to the 9.2.1 iOS update released earlier this month but it appears not, as all operating systems – various OS and desktop iterations – seem to be experiencing the issue.
Reports of the problem have spread across Reddit, Twitter, Apple forums and social media around the globe, with “Safari” trending on Twitter in various locations.
One user on a Mac forum wrote that: “70% of our Macs in our office have this issue, kind of wiped us out this morning.”
The Safari bug comes just days after a prank website, CrashSafari.com, was set up to reboot users’ devices. The website causes the browser to overload with a self-generated string of text, causing devices to shutdown.
In another setback for Apple, the company announced a slowdown in growth after its top-selling device, the iPhone, flatlined in sales. Sales grew by just 0.4% over the Christmas period – compared with 46% the previous year.
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