posted by Thom Holwerda on Wed 27th Jan 2016 10:13 UTC

Good morning everyone! Experiencing problems with Safari on iOS and OS X today? Is Safari crashing when you tap the address bar? You're not alone. Apple is experiencing a major issue with Safari today, causing the browser to reliably crash on all iOS devices, and Safari on OS X seems to suffer from UI problems and other issues. This one's big, and seems to affect all iOS and OS X devices in the world (!).

The culprit seems to be Safari's search suggestions implementation. Something seems to be wrong server-side, and it's causing the search session code to raise an exception, after which the application doesn't know what to do. Tapping the URL field in Safari will cause Safari on iOS to crash immediately, while Safari on OS X suffers from other issues. If you are not currently experiencing this problem on iOS, that's because caching is saving you for now. If you switch airplane mode on and off on your iOS devices, these caches are reset, and the problem will appear.

From what I can gather - which means, from what iOS developers I talk to can gather, because I, myself, am an idiot - this is a huge problem, affecting all iOS and OS X devices. On my iPhone, the Safari crash is 100% reproducible, and any tap on the address field crashes Safari. I can't type in any URL. A temporary workaround is to disable "Include search engine suggestions", but a permanent fix most likely has to come from Apple itself. Even then, said hypothetical fix might take a while to actually fix the problem.

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