Why Your iPhone’s Links Are Broken in Safari and Mail

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Another day, another irritating iOS bug: Apple’s currently dealing with, among other things, a URL glitch causing its Safari and Mail apps to lock up.

The glitch stems from how iOS handles what it calls "universal links." You’ll be familiar with them if you’ve ever tapped a hyperlink to YouTube, for example, and it opened up the YouTube app. Universal links direct users to content within an app, rather than a standard web page.

iOS handles these by using files known as association files. Usually, those files — coded by individual developers and not by Apple — are very small, but occasionally, they’re not. Developers for apps like booking.com and Wikipedia reportedly included every single URL on their domain, resulting in relatively enormous files that caused the apps to crash.

Apple says that it’s working on a fix on its end, but the root of the issue is that developers were implementing universal links poorly. Exactly when the patch will go live is unclear.