iOS 9.3 bug breaks web links

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iOS 9.3 bug breaks web links

More problems as Apple patches iPad 2 activation issue.

Apple is receiving complaints about yet another bug in its iOS 9.3 mobile operating system, with users reporting an inability to open web links in several applications.

Over the weekend affected iPad and iPhone users took to Apple forums and its support Twitter page to complain of the Safari, Chrome, Mail, Messages and other apps freezing and crashing when attempting to open a web link

The issue could be related to universal links, a feature Apple introduced with iOS 9, according to developers. It provides developers the ability to register domain names to open web links directly into their application, rather than through Apple's Safari web browser.

Mobile developer Ben Collier said the bug appears to break universal links when iOS gets served an app association file - a list of the types of URLs an app can open - that is too large.

It is understood the issue affects apps with large association files: when updating to the new version of iOS, the reprocessing of the large number of domains causes the app to crash. 

Users suggested several temporary fixes, including to turn off JavaScript support in iOS settings for Safari.

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Apple said it was aware of the issue and would release a fix in a software update soon.

The issue comes just days after iPad 2 users reported widespread problems with bricked devices after installing the iOS 9.3 upgrade.

iPad 2 owners were unable to activate their devices after upgrading, forcing Apple to rush out a patch late last week.

The company confirmed that the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and older devices were also affected by the activation bug.

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