iOS 9.3 Re-Release Causing Safari and Mail Crashes

Published: March 29, 2016 6:15 AM /


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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.

Other users posted that they were experiencing the same issue. The app seems to be the most common culprit. Developer Ben Collier has speculated that the issue lies with how the links are handled as well as a possible issue with how the app directed all the possible URLs to the site rather than using wildcards. The author was able to confirm that this issue does exist on an iPhone 5S, but does not have any other devices to confirm with. Some users have suggested that disabling Javascript in Safari can help for regular web pages, but it does not help for links that would open in other apps.

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.


Quick Take

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. 

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I've been a lover of video games, writing, and technology for as long as I remember. I have a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana… More about John