The recent iOS 9.3 release has seemingly broken the way iOS handles links. A user on Apple’s Support Forums has reported issues with Safari and Mail outright freezing and requiring a restart to fix.
After the upgrade, I can’t click links when searching something on Google in Safari or clicking a link in the Mail, the apps just freeze.
I tried clearing Safari history data/cache, closing all apps and restarting the phone (both regular and holding both home/power key), disabling all sorts of settings form Safari settings, but no luck.
With iOS9, apps are allowed to register themselves to open particular domains. Previously, links would be forced to open in Safari, but in iOS9, Apple introduced a new feature called Universal Links that allows that to be directed to the correct app.
As of this writing, the issue has not been fixed, but is known to Apple and has been described as “top priority” by the official Apple Support Twitter page.
@StageStallion Getting those links working is top priority. DM any troubleshooting steps you’ve taken so far to get started.
— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) March 29, 2016
iOS 9.3 seems to have been quite the troublesome release. Less than a week ago, Apple had to pull the update entirely due to a glitch that was causing some iPad models to get stuck at the activation screen. After releasing a new build, this issue has now arisen. Hopefully this issue leads to the use of wildcards for Universal Links rather than manually specifying pages becoming a more common practice.